SPA 018: The Power of Visualisation and How to Improve Performance with Mental Conditioning

“A good athlete always mentally replays a competition over and over, even in victory, to see what might be done to improve the performance the next time.” – Frank Shorter

Mental imagery isn’t a new thing. I intentionally used a quote by Frank Shorter, an American former long-distance runner who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

If you have been listening to my previous episodes and really doing the work and following instructions, by now you should have a crystal clear set of realistic goals you are raring to go chase them.

With your perfect plan lined up in place in your log book, journal or calendar, you know what you are going to do everyday and ready to build positive habits to progress towards your goals.

While you get by with your day to day trainings, have you experienced times when you get frustrated and dissatisfied with your training outcome. Maybe there’s one day when you couldn’t perform as you’ve planned. You aimed to score 10 out of 10 goals but only 5 got to the back of the net. Or you have been running your best for 10 days but on the 11th day, you felt breathless and couldn’t complete your run as planned.

Your thoughts start to run wild, self-doubt sets in, you start to wonder if you were cut out to do what you loved to do all along. You may also think you may have reached your peak and you cannot move up any further.

I can absolutely relate to that. Back in 2008, when I was still in this game called CanoePolo, it was my 5th year training with my team for international competitions, and I realised I haven’t been progressing. There was a clear plateau in my sprint timings and shots on goal. I felt miserable and lost.

My team had a clear goal and plan, to beat more than 10 teams in the next World Championships to be one of the top 10 teams in the world. But at that moment, I felt my self-belief starting to fade off.

Nobody was telling me what I can do or cannot do, there weren’t any encouragement or discouraging remarks. Then I remember when I was driving to training with a teammate together in my car, I made a fleeting statement to say, “I feel like there’s nothing for me to learn anymore.”

Then she said one thing that not only embarrassed me, but helped got me out of my stagnant self-trap to a new world to explore. She said, “there is always something new to learn, if we are not champions of the world yet, something must be wrong somewhere and we need to fix it.”

That conversation was a wake up call and immediately after that, not only did I feel the responsibility to do something about it, I also realised the power of the mind, because, it was a strange change of feeling of self-doubt and a 180 degrees change of mood in a minute of interaction with my teammate.

To cut the long story short, that was when I began to explore the areas of visualisation more deeply. I’ve known the power of visualisation for many years then, just that I did not place much emphasis on that because we were too focussed in levelling up our skills and tactics against other teams.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • how powerful visualisation can be to transform your games and your life
  • how Wayne Rooney use visualisation before competition
  • the 3 myths of visualisation and the ultimate truths
  • why many people do not rely on visualisation
  • how to use visualisation as a training tool
  • how visualisation can help a beginner to play golf better than without

Links and resources mentioned in this show:
Best Resources:

Best Performance Books

Show Links:


Brouziyne M, Molinaro C. “Mental imagery combined with physical practice of approach shots for golf beginners.” Perceptual and Motor Skills. 2005 Aug;101(1):203-11.

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me today. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The StarPlayer Academy Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions, email me anytime at and I will surely respond to them to get your questions answered quickly.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates. It’s free!

Subscribe to StarPlayer Academy!