How athletes visualize

Visualization For Athletes – How To Manifest Your Sports Goals

In 1912 a native American athlete by the name of Jim Thorpe boarded a ship to Sweden to attend the 1912 Olympic games.

Thorpe was a long distance runner…

But there was something distinctly different about his training routine in comparison with other athletes of that time.

As a child, Thorpe has learned the skill of visualization and had used it to help him achieve his running goals with great success.


But while on the ship, he was offered a new challenge…

Jim Thorpe was told that in order to participate in the games, he must enter at least two events.

It was decided that he would be assigned to compete not only in long distance running but also in the broad jump.

He made himself comfortable in a deck chair on the ship.

23 feet and 3 inches away from where he sat was a strip of white tape placed by Thorpe himself to mark an inch farther than the current record.

The journey was 8-hours long and he sat quietly in that deck chair for most of the day.

When asked what he was doing, Jim replied…

“I’m practicing the broad jump. I’ve just jumped 23 feet 8 inches. I think that I can win it.”

Olympic rings

The first time he physically broad jumped was at the 1912 Olympics.

He set a new world record…

Not only that, Thorpe won both the pentathlon and decathlon events.

The same year he scored nearly 200 points for his Carlisle football team, leading them to the collegiate championship.

After that, he went on to play major league baseball for 6 years.

When asked about his Olympic broad jump success, Jim Thorpe simply replied:

“I just sat in that chair until I truly believed I could jump the distance.”

You see, Thorpe knew the power of alignment…

He knew that in order to perform at his peak, he must not only train his body but his mind as well.

So What Is Sports Visualization?

Visualization is simply the act of using your imagination.

And nowadays it’s a pretty common practice among elite athletes and sports professionals around the world.

It’s important to note that we all visualize to some degree but unfortunately as we get older our mindless visualizations become more negative than positive.

Think back to when you were a child…

It’s most likely that you had a limitless imagination and aspirations much bigger than any adult could possibly comprehend.

What’s more, you completely believed it!

Sadly, as years go by the imagination changes…

Doubt creeps in…

Self doubt kills performance

Mental images of success and happiness are imploded on by fears of failure.

Suddenly you find yourself awake in bed at night imagining everything that could go wrong…

Or remembering the things that already have gone wrong.

Unfortunately this inability to consciously direct your imagination is where many athletes fall short.

Negative thoughts become limiting beliefs.

They hack away at your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Eventually this habit of replaying past and potential failures in the mind results as a huge barrier to success.

Redirecting your imagination takes practice but the benefits are completely worth it!

“In my mind, I’m always the best. If I walk out on the court and I think the next person is better, I’ve already lost.” – Venus Williams

So How Can You Make The Art Of Visualization Work In A Positive Way?

Well, the good news is that it isn’t overly complicated.

All you need to do is day-dream.

Relax and let your mind create an outcome that makes you feel good.

It doesn’t need to be perfect.

Straining your mind to visualize everything as precise as possible right down to the color of the umpire’s socks is not necessary….

The most important thing is for the exercise to be consistent and for it to feel good.

The more you can relax into the process, the more you will engage in it…

And the more you engage in your daydreams, the easier and more specific they will naturally become.

Again, consistency is key.

“I visualize the game. I think about who I am guarding. The things he likes to do.” – Scottie Pippen

How Does It Work?

OK, so when it comes to sports visualization, there are a few factors as to how it all works.

There is a standpoint that comes purely from psychological and physiological research…

And there is a more metaphysical explanation relating directly to the Law of Attraction.

“I never set limits or created mental barriers. You may have read that I imagined my biceps as big as mountain peaks when I did my curling exercises. This visualization process was essential if I was to gain the kind of mass and size I needed to win the Mr. Olympia contest against monsters like Sergio Olivia and Lou Ferrigno.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Science.

How they work

According to sports psychology research, when you visualize a scenario, your brainwaves actually behave in the same way as if you were physically engaged in the activity itself…

This means that as far as the mind goes, visualization offers much of the same results as physical practice would.

To break this down further…

With consistent visualization, the brain memorizes which signals to send to the body in order to prepare you for the physical event.

For example, if you are a skier, visualization could help you to prime your brain to have quicker reaction times when faced with different obstacles, slopes and turns.

If you play a team sport, visualization could help you to predetermine your game plan and refine the way your body should move in order to perfect certain maneuvers or skills.

There is also the confidence factor.

Confidence on its own plays a huge factor in sporting and athletic success!

So how does someone gain confidence?

Usually, this happens through repetition.

Continuously putting yourself in a specific scenario helps you to build confidence within that particular arena.

For athletes, visualizing their particular sporting event has been proven to relieve performance anxiety and to help with confidence in general.

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” – Michael Phelps

How It Works From A Manifestation Standpoint.

There is a common phrase within the Law of Attraction community…

“Thoughts become things”

The idea is that if you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.

But actually, there is a little more to it than that…

The truth is that manifestation is all about alignment.

Energy of life

It’s about channeling your energies into a goal and then letting that desire find its way to you.

The energies required to manifest are thought, emotion and action.

Usually, a visualization routine that makes you feel excited about the future is enough to align your thoughts and emotions…

The action side to the Law of Attraction is about the physical energy that you put into something…

And as we all know, athletes are particularly good as expressing physical energy toward their goals.

This is the reason why so many sports stars find success with the Law of Attraction.

Athletes who don’t fall into the trap of self-doubt and fear often hold all the keys to alignment.

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

So How Can You Use The Law Of Attraction To Amplify Your Sporting Success?

Two time UFC champion Conor McGregor started playing around with manifestation and visualization at around the age of 15.

According to McGregor, he never would have achieved the massive success he has today without help from the Law of Attraction.

Conor claims not only to have visualized his MMA matches and how they would play out…

But also his success in general.

He used the power of thought to imagine crowds of people cheering his name, the money, the fame and the lifestyle that comes with being a UFC champ.

Many sports stars and athletes credit the art of visualization for helping them to achieve their goals but Conor speaks directly on the Law of Attraction…

Not just visualization…

But positive thinking and gratitude as well.

He has spoken openly about his experience with manifestation in hopes that more people will follow his example and chase their dreams…

The idea behind the Law of Attraction is that the energy you put out is the energy you attract…

So when you think, feel and act confident… you attract confidence.

When you feel strong… you attract more strength.

When you adopt an attitude of self-belief, your athletic and sporting goals begin to manifest.

“I keep having vivid dreams of success. Then it’s time to sleep.” – Conor Mcgregor

Tips For Manifesting Athletic Success

1.) Gratitude

Develop a gratitude routine that centers on how far you have come already.

It’s important to not get so caught up in your aspirations that you forget to be grateful about everything you have already achieved.

Take time to celebrate and appreciate every milestone on your athletic journey.

Gratitude is considered one of the highest vibration emotions you can emit and with good reason…

You see, whenever you feel gratitude, the Law of Attraction must send you more things to appreciate.

Remember, you attract more of what you put out.

To be a little more specific…

If you are grateful for something in particular (for example, your upper body strength), you will continue to get stronger and stronger in order for that gratitude to stay in the flow.

We call this the gratitude loop and it’s an awesome state of mind when it comes to being in the receiving more.

Further reading:

Gratitude And Manifestation – The Secret Behind Appreciation

2.) Practice Affirmations

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction things begin to happen.” – Muhammad Ali

Affirmations are a great way to use the Law of Attraction because the more you use them, the more you reprogram your mind for success.

You see, we have all been programmed!

And this may sound terrible but it’s just a part of life.

The truth is that beliefs about ourselves, and what we can achieve all take shape very early on in life.

But those beliefs instilled by friends and family are not always the beliefs that we choose.

In order to create new beliefs, we must access the subconscious mind, where all our deep-seated thought patterns come from.

It’s easy for the subconscious to be influenced during childhood when the mind is a blank slate, but as you get older… it can take a little more patience.

You see, the subconscious mind stops developing at 7 years old…

This means, that in order to teach it anything, we must do so as if it were a 7-year-old child.

Reciting affirmations allows you to do just that.

Simple statements that are repeated over and over in order to become deeply absorbed by the mind.

Here are some example affirmations for athletes:

  • I achieve my sporting goals.
  • I enjoy training hard.
  • My body is strong.
  • I constantly beat my own records.
  • Confidence is within me.

Further reading:

5 Magical Positive Affirmation Tips To Rewire Your Brain For Success

How To Make Your Affirmations Work Faster

How Do Subliminal Affirmations Work?

3.) Use Your Imagination

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” – Muhammad Ali

Visualize how it would look and feel to achieve your goals…

Imagine your entire event from start to finish.

Again, this should be a relaxing experience.

Make time for visualization whether it’s in bed before you fall asleep at night or during quiet moments such as while driving to work.

Don’t get caught up in making every detail perfect.

The most important thing is to simply enjoy the process.

Evoke the feelings of happiness and excitement within as you picture your athletic success.

Further Reading:

6 Easy Visualization Techniques For Epic Manifestation

4.) Maintain A Positive Mindset

“I take whatever situation I’m in, and I spin it like it’s the most positive thing that’s ever happened to me.” – Adam Rippon

Do things that keep you in a positive frame of mind.

This will allow you to keep up the momentum of manifesting your goals.

Whatever it is that makes you feel optimistic about your desires, do it…

Whether that be listening to a sports psychology podcast, surrounding yourself with positive influences or something else.

Close off from negativity and limiting beliefs by becoming completely focused on how amazing it feels to be on the path to sporting success.

Further Reading:

How To Stop Negative Thoughts From Affecting Your Manifestations

5 Highly Effective Ways To Detach From Limiting Beliefs

17 Limiting Beliefs Getting In The Way Of Your Manifestations

5.) Keep Up The Hard Work

“Action is a high road to self-confidence and self-esteem.” – Bruce Lee

The Law of Attraction is not something you can use as an excuse to sit around not working toward your dreams.

Exercise helps

Keep up your physical training!

Allow both your mental strength and your physical strength to come together in perfect alignment.

You will know you are in alignment with your goals when action feels good!

Training for greatness will become a fun and exciting part of your journey toward success.

Nothing ever falls out of the sky and into your lap, that’s not what the Law of Attraction is about.

Manifestation occurs when all of your energies are aligned… that’s thought, emotion, and action!

When you take care of the alignment, the universe takes care of the opportunities that become part of your path.

Further Reading:

Spiritual Alignment And Manifestation

9 Signs You Are In Alignment With Your Desires

6.) Talk About Your Aspirations

One of the easiest ways to visualize is simply to speak your goals into existence.

If you have a close friend, family member or coach who loves to support you, spend time talking and planning your sporting goals.

As you speak and get excited together, you will naturally form an image within your mind of what it is that you want.

Speak in complete confidence that you will achieve whatever it is that you are aiming for and allow the strength of your confidence to charge your manifestation.

It’s not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of when.

“When I say somethings going to happen, it’s going to happen.” – Conor Mcgregor.


Sorcerer’s Stone A Beginners Guide To Alchemy – Dennis William Hauck

What Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Thorpe Taught Me About Achieving Success –

Sports Visualization –

Charlotte Rogers
Charlotte Rogers

Charlie is a spiritual manifestation coach/teacher that has helped thousands of people around the world manifest their goals and desires. She’s been featured on Elephant Journal, Addicted 2 Success & More!

Recent Posts

Blue Aura Meaning Explained

Long ago, we discovered that everything is made of energy. That energy vibrates at different frequencies. That means that things that seem solid are actually

Read More »