The baseball hall of fame announcements were made last week and Derek Jeter, not surprisingly, made it his first time on the ballot.

When hearing anecdotes about Jeter, one of the recurring themes was how confident he was in his ability to get the job done.  He felt he was going to have success each and every time he was on the baseball field.

Let’s tie it to something even more closer to home.  I was at a track clinic this past weekend and one of the presenters talked about how much he tried to instill confidence in his athletes.  Not just so he had confidence in them, but so they could have confidence in their own abilities.

One of the ways he suggested they go about gaining this confidence is visualization.

He wanted his athletes to visualize their success and every aspect of what that success might look like.  Meaning, what does that athlete need to do to have a clean race.  Visualize what that looks like over and over and it will start happening.

Part of his reasoning for this was about a study he mentioned.  This study had two groups of basketball players.  One group shot a certain amount of shots each day for 4 weeks.  The other group spent each day visualizing the perfect free throw and them making free throws.

The group that did the visualization ended making more free throws when they finally tested.

How can this help you in your sport?

Visualize the certain skills you need to do for your sport.  Is it hitting a baseball?  Serving up the ball in volleyball or tennis?  Winning a race in track?

Visualize the what it will take to swing that bat effectively to get hits.  Visualize and feel how you will stand in the plate.  How you will pick up the baseball to figure out what type of pitch it is.  Making contact with that pitch and where it is being sent.

Do that over and over.  Do that before you go up to bat.  Envision the success you will have at the plate and it will improve your chances of it happening.

You can then take that visualization as far as you want.  Do you feel you will win the state championships?  Then envision what you will do to make that happen.  Visualize everything you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t control (the weather for example).

If you can’t visualize the success yourself, then why should you have success?  Visualize what you need to do to make it happen and then do those things.

Will it work every time?

No, but it will definitely improve your chances of it happening each time.  And that is all we want.  The best chance possible to have success.