Visualising to improve performance – Playing the “What if” game

Posted: October 12, 2014 by Tony Hardy in Combat Mindset

With the advent of competitive sports the pressure to maintain the “edge” has gained tremendous attention, there are, however, aspects that we can capitalise on that are not only limited to competitive athletes… in fact… as combat athletes ourselves, I believe we have a greater need to use these techniques as losing in our arena doesn’t just mean not getting a medal…

Visualisation has been regularly used by many athletes to improve their performance under pressure and increase the outcome of a given event, in our case, we have the same needs, but, obviously under different scenarios!

This concept has been referred to by various name… meditation. Guided imagery, mental rehearsal, etc. regardless of the name used, the results are proven and can greatly affect how we perform should we ever find ourselves in a situation requiring action…

Play the “what if” game… this allows you to use everyday situations to provide fuel for visualisation, keeps you attentive and allows training to take place throughout the day, not just with our fellow Kravists (or whichever martial art you may subscribe to)…

The next time you pull up to the robots, determine any threats, play through a mental rehearsal of how a situation could first be avoided, then if it escalated into a confrontation (window smashed, gun threat, etc), or, this game can be applied to others as well, for example if someone else is under threat and it falls up yourself to intervene, how would you approach it, what are your options, did you scan for any accomplices? Is your angle of approach good? Is your stance ready? Etc, etc, etc.

To get the maximum benefit from this technique, engage as many senses as possible (the brain doesn’t know that it is not actually happening, hence the benefit of a trained response), try and imagine the sounds, the sensations, feelings, smells… Make it as real as possible in your minds eye to create the correct trained response…

With these techniques we are in no way advocating violence or aggression, just preparation and survival by ensuring the best possible result, and of course, make sure you get to class regularly to fine tune your craft!

Isaac, A. R. (1992). “Mental Practice- Does it Work in the Field?” The Sport Psychologist, 6, 192-198.

Martin, K.A., Hall, C. R. (1995). “Using Mental Imagery to Enhance Intrinsic Motivation.” Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(1), 54-69.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.