I am a CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) through the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) and yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting at the NSCA 2012 NJ State Clinic. It was great to see some old friends (Art, Coach McFarlane, Ryan and Rick) and also to meet some new ones, including Mark Salandra of StrengthCondition.com and Dave DiFabio, a professor in the Rutgers Exercise Science Department.
My presentation was entitled “Mind-Muscle Connection – How Your Mindset & Thoughts Can Amplify Your Results”. The focus of the presentation was how we can harness the power of our mind through use of Mental Imagery to amplify our results. There are some amazing studies out there, including one that showed practicing dart throwing through your imagination can improve accuracy just as much as ACTUAL practice AND improvement in free throw shooting is almost identical when using mental imagery and never shooting a basket versus actual practice for 20 days straight!!! The presentation can be found here: The Mind-Muscle Connection May 2012 vFINAL
I received really great feedback and one person even told me that my presentation was the only reason they came!!! I touched on using mental imagery and harnessing the power of the mind in one of my previous posts: Believe and Achieve: The Unstoppable Power of Thought.
In my opinion, the best book ever written on mental imagery is The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. We truly cannot comprehend how powerful our mind is and we have only scratched the surface in terms of how our self-image, thoughts and subconscience influence our actions and our ability to achieve success. For some reason, when we became adults, we stopped being told to “use our imagination”, but that is one of our most powerful tools for changing our lives. The imagination feeds our subconscience which influences our self-imposed limitations (e.g. I am /am not ever going to be wealthy, I can / cannot lift that much weight, I am / am not able to win this game, etc.).
Try setting aside 5 or 10 minutes per day, sitting quietly with your eyes closed and create a mental movie for yourself. It can involve a sport you compete in, an interaction with a boss at work or trying to speak to a member of the opposite sex when you are out with friends. Go through the situation in your mind and think about what you need to do to be successful in that endeavor. Replay this mental movie each day for 2-3 weeks and see how it plays out. You will be amazed with the results and you have nothing to lose!!! Just as Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”