Recently I was emailing an athlete that is experiencing shin splints and I tried hard to help him understand that his situation isn't as dire as he might think. Instead of training physically, I recommended that he start working on his mental training by using visualization.
Visualization is something I highly recommend to all my athletes when they are experiencing negative results and/or injuries. Think about it, the better you understand something the better you (generally) are at succeeding.
Our brains are amazing tools that we generally don't think much about. The more you understand something, the more likely you are to experience "mindless success". What I mean by this is, you are more likely to have positive outcomes without needing to obsess or worry about the action(s) you are about to perform.
When I first began my coaching career I knew nothing about the long and triple jumps. I was completely new to it and was pretty worried that I was going to have difficulty in coaching my athletes. What did I do? I poured over books, videos, and any possible resource I could find to better understand the jumps. The countless number of hours I spent was what made me who I am today!
Too often athletes believe that the physical side of training is the only one that is needed. If you think of the brain as a muscle, you must also then understand that training it is a key ingredient. Visualization will not only help you to understand your sport better, but will also help you to stay healthy.
Why not give it a try? What do you have to lose? Head over to YouTube today and find as many videos as you can. Scour longandtriple.com and find as many resources as you can. Read other online articles. Talk with other athletes/coaches you know. Email me to ask any burning questions.
Once you've done that I'd love to direct you HOW to use that information you've accumulated to help you attain newer heights in your sport of choice. Check back often for additional articles ("parts") to help you understand and use one of the most untapped and successful ways of training - visualization.