Sign up FAST! Login

Will Practicing A Skill In Your Head Make You Better At It?

Will Practicing A Skill In Your Head Make You Better At It Popular Science


Visualization has advantages over the real thing: You can do it anywhere, even when injured. It’s safe—a major plus for high-stakes performers such as gymnasts and surgeons. And you can practice for longer periods of time because you’re not constrained by physical fatigue. That’s not to say it’s easy: “We’ve had Olympic-level athletes sitting in our lab, visualizing for two hours,” says Tadhg MacIntyre, a sports psychologist at the University of Limerick in Ireland. “When we’re done, they’re absolutely exhausted.”

It doesn’t work for everyone, though. “If you’re a novice, the impact can be negative,” warns MacIntyre. “If you’re trying to visualize a free throw, and you don’t even know the proper handgrip and movement, then you’re probably going to mentally rehearse the wrong skill, and your skill is going to be impaired.”

Stashed in: Practice, Visualization, Virtual Reality!, Life Hacks

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Virtual reality can correct the incorrect mental models.

You May Also Like: