When it comes to coaching, I’m a big nerd for muscle memory in elite athletes. Understanding how that mechanism works has been a big part of my life. I just learned something new so I had to share with you… IT’S A GAME CHANGER.
Just recently, a sports study was done to determine how best to improve athletic performance. The test centered around shooting free throws. A large group was asked to shoot free throws. They shot free throws the best they could and were all recorded in proficiency. The group was then divided into three smaller groups. The first group was asked to do nothing between the time of the next test. The second group was asked to practice shooting free throws diligently. The third group was asked not to shoot free throws but to simply envision themselves shooting free throws and to regularly meditate and mentally see the ball going in the hoop. After a while the group was again tested.
As expected the first group who had done nothing showed no improvement.
The second group, who had actually practiced showed an improvement of 24%.
The third group’s results were the most interesting. Though they had done no actual physical practice, they improved by 23%.
The envisioning group improved nearly as well as the practicing group. This was a big game changer that I want to share with you. This might help when it comes to making decisions about where to invest time and energy. Here are my big takeaways.
Takeaway #1: SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING
Takeaway #2: Repeating an exercise does improve performance. (Doing it right repeatedly makes it even better 😉
Takeaway #3: If I really want my clients to be their best, in addition to reps repeating exercises, I need to help them see their success
I hope this helps you on your journey!