Mind Over Sports


Posted on: October 15, 2012


A number of years ago I made a startling discovery: When athletes have a high sense of inner-self and their lives are in harmony, they are able to use visualization techniques effectively. They will not only perform close to their skill levels on a consistent basis, but will also create positive events in their lives, on and off the field of competition. But when their lives are in disharmony, visualization and other mental techniques become ineffective. If they are experiencing personal problems and have unresolved issues hovering above them like a dark cloud, those problems and issues definitely affect their ability to perform in their sport.

I also found that the worst thing athletes can do to negatively affect their performance is to withhold their feelings and emotions. Withholding is a form of lying that demeans them and lowers their sense of inner-self, creating psychological baggage that affects their ability to focus and process information. Withholding, if not dealt with, can also affect an athlete’s physical health.

In the late 80’s I was invited to work with the UMKC Men’s Division I basketball team halfway through their season. At that time they had a dismal 3-15 record and the coach allowed me to take the team into a room, without his being present, and create a support group atmosphere. Each team member was encouraged to air his grievances without fear of being punished, whether they be about coaches, other players, or even issues in their personal lives. I was astounded to learn how much anger they had toward each other. And much of it revolved around relationships with members of the opposite sex. We spent four hours clearing the air and then I introduced them to visualization, which none of them had ever done before. To make a long story short, they won 8 out of their next 10 games and the coach thought it was because he hadn’t changed his under shorts.

Based on the success I had with the UMKC team, I began teaching performance enhancing mental skills (such as visualization) to teams and athletes, assisting them in sorting through issues and problems they may be experiencing in their personal lives.


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N. V. I.
National Visualization Institute

Learn how to visualize, resulting in increased performance.

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