Manifestation and visualisation is a trend that has swept the world recently.
Some may say it’s a bit hippy, dippy or a bit woo-woo, but did you know that it can help you become a better open water swimmer?
Contrary to some beliefs, manifestation and visualisation don’t have to be all spiritual or a deep dive into your soul to reap the benefits as many gurus believe.
Manifestation is the practice of imagining and visualising what you want to achieve in the future as if it were true in your current life.
Manifestation comes in two ways; process visualisation and outcome visualisation and both can be used to become a better swimmer.
Process visualisation is where you imagine every step towards your desired outcome with every sense that you will engage throughout the process.
For example, if you want to make it through the wave zone and out the back of the surf with more ease, you can use this type of visualisation right before you enter the water.
Start by standing on the beach, feel the sand between your toes, and look out to the ocean before closing your eyes. Now take in the sounds and smells around you, the salt air and birds chirping, and visualise how you are going to approach the swim ahead of you.
In your mind, you want to feel the energy behind the waves and feel the movement of the water around you.
Next, envision each wave approaching and plan how you will negotiate it. What technique will you use? When will you execute it? What will your form look like?
Envision your body swimming in the water after the wave zone, breathing in the cool morning air and the sand on the bottom of the ocean.
Now that you have made it out the back of the wave zone in your mind, open your eyes, look out to the ocean and take a final few moments to assess the current ocean conditions and execute what you have just manifested.
Outcome visualisation is where you envision your desired endpoint.
This could be completing a 2km ocean swim when you have only ever previously swam 1km, making it out the back of the wave zone for the first time, or completing your first swim around a headland.
Focus on and take deliberate steps towards your chosen outcome, which will make it more likely to become a reality.
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