Creative visualization is the technique of using one’s imagination to visualize specific behaviors or events occurring in one’s life. Advocates suggest creating a detailed schema of what one desires and then visualizing it over and over again with all of the senses (i.e., what do you see? what do you feel? what do you hear? what does it smell like?). For example, in sports a golfer may visualize the “perfect” stroke over and over again to mentally train muscle memory.
In one of the most well-known studies on Creative Visualization in sports, Russian scientists compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:
Group 1 = 100% physical training;
Group 2 - 75% physical training with 25% mental training;
Group 3 - 50% physical training with 50% mental training;
Group 4 - 25% physical training with 75% mental training.
Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training performed the best. “The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses.”