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Visualisation: Sporting Gimmick or Game Changer?

8 October 2014

Visualisation attracts conflicting opinions, is it a well-developed technique for reaching our goals or simply a gimmick? We believe visualisation can work, but you must first discover what success looks like.

Former Olympic swimmer Steve Parry had a great a routine to prepare for his swim and he called it “running the movie”. Thirty minutes prior to the most important swims of their lives swimmers are taken to a call room where they wait to be taken into the arena before their race.

Steve would use this opportunity to create a clear and vivid image in his mind’s eye of the perfect swim, complete with sights, sounds smells and emotions. He would run this movie over and over again until he was called up to race.

When called to his marks, Steve would then feel as though he has already been there and just continue to play out the movie, this time for real.

Steve’s effective visualisation techniques can be also attributed to his success in business, since retiring from swimming professionally, he has embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and gone on to own three successful businesses including Total Swimming.

So how can we learn from Steve? Three simple steps can help you get started in visualising your goals:

Write it down

Once you’ve established a goal, commit to it by writing it down, until then it is simply a thought, research suggests we are up to 42% more likely to achieve our goals by writing them down.

Achieve it

Think about how achieving the goal makes you feel, what it looks like, imagine any smells and sounds associated with your success. Play out your achievement in your mind’s eye.

Visualise it

It is important to not just to visualise the end result but the process you’ll experience in reaching a goal. Imagine the steps you’ll go through, the challenges you’ll face, how you’ll overcome them and the positive feeling of each success.


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