31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence #28: Visualize Victory

“31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence” is a series of those tips that will kick your performance to the next level, without any inordinate expenditure of time or money. How are you going to reach your goals?

Your commitment to training hard for miles and miles is but one tool to excel in sports (and other endeavors). The hard work is required, but your effectiveness will only be maximized by taking a holistic approach to triathlon. Nutrition, recovery and technique are a few examples that will add to your performance gains with a little effort.

Today’s tip to enhance your performance is #28: Visualize Victory

10 Success Secrets of Olympic Greats - Phelps visualizing pre-race

Visualization is a technique that has been used by elite athletes for years. It involves mentally rehearsing your race and picturing yourself achieving your goals.

Picture yourself conquering a weakness, of racing fast and performing strongly. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line arms raised aloft, having achieved your goals.

If you get nervous pre-race, anticipate yourself calm and relaxed, steady heart-rate, breathing comfortably while awaiting the gun.

It is not my favorite sport but I am always impressed with the focus of baseball pitchers. They appear to visualize each and every pitch just beforehand.

The more you do it, the more stretch goals become achievable. Picture yourself swimming smooth and long, efficiently powering through the bike leg and finishing fast and strong on the run. The joy of visualization is that you can do it anywhere – while on a long swim or run, in the office, or commuting to work on the train.

Like anything, practice it and you will improve. I have heard anecdotes of swimmers, with practice, being able to rehearse their race within tenths of a second of their goal time!

Picturing yourself outperforming and conquering major challenges will help with your confidence on race day, and will help as you churn in the wash of the swim or as you struggle up that final, steep hill.

I’m in my 30’s but still fantasize about winning Olympic gold and later becoming a professional football player. The more I picture myself covered in glory, the more certain I am that it will happen!

Mo Farah wins gold - visualize yourself sprinting to victory in triathlon races

The difference between many athletes is often self-belief. Visualization can help your believe in yourself and your ability to achieve ANY goal.

What have I missed? Vote now and I will try to include in the last few posts of the series!

“31 Easy Tips” thus far:
#1: Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
Write Down Your Goals (Now!)
 Ask an Expert
Start Stretching
#5: Track your progress towards your Goals
#6: Take a Cold Shower
Incorporate Drills into your Workouts
Superfoods for Superperformance
#9: Get Some Rest
#10: Cross train
Reward Yourself
#12: Don’t Breathe in the Pool
Take a Bath
#14: Do Squat!
#15: Get Yourself a Mentor
Do Yoga
#17: Be on Time
#18: Leave Your Bucket of Troubles at the Door
#19: Stay Healthy!
#20: Do LESS Freestyle
#21: Grind it Out on the Foam Roller
#22: Engage Your Core
#23: Don’t Break the Bank!
Be Persistent and Patient (Like Skyscraper Builders)
#25: Kick!
#26: Sprint!
#27: Race-day training



  1. Coach Eamon

    A follow-up thought: you can also use visualization while training, e.g. before tackling a particularly hard session or before you enter your peak volume period.

  2. Pingback: 31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence #29: Invest in Recovery « The Holistic Triathlete
  3. Pingback: 31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence #30: | The Holistic Triathlete
  4. Pingback: 31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence #30: Perform HOT by warming up | The Holistic Triathlete
  5. Pingback: 31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence #31: Don’t forget to have fun along the way | The Holistic Triathlete

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