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Visualise Success!

To prove I don’t just read best-sellers and cycling books, here’s a little
something I picked up from the Metro free newspaper, augmenting the 3 line
snippet with some additional information courtesy of Psychology Today and

Mental practice can enhance your performance in surprising ways. Natan
Sharansky, a computer specialist spent 9 years in prison in the USSR for
allegedly spying for the USA played himself in mental chess while in solitary
confinement, saying: “I might as well use the opportunity to become the world
champion!” In 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry
Kasparov… (Though let’s not forget that he was a computer specialist, so
hardly mentally-challenged to begin with – even so, it’s a big step from there
to beating Kasparov…

A study looking at weightlifters’ brain patterns found that the patterns
activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similar when
they only imagined lifting. Research has shown that mental practice can be
almost effective as physical practice, and that doing both is more effective
than either alone. Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic
Foundation in Ohio participated In a study that compared everyday “people
who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their
heads”. He found a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym.
However, the group of participants who conducted only mental exercises of
the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%)
which average remained for 3 months after the mental training.

Noted as one form of mental rehearsal, visualization has been popular since
the Soviets started using it back for sport in the 1970s.. Now, it is commonly
used, especially by used by tennis players, ski-ers, and golfers like Tiger Woods
who has been using it since his pre-teen years. Seasoned athletes use vivid,
highly detailed internal images and run-throughs of the entire performance,
engaging all their senses in their mental rehearsal, and they combine their
knowledge of the sports venue with mental rehearsal. World Champion Golfer,

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