Secret Power: Seeing Before Doing

There is a clinical trial that our team sport psychologist shared with us at the University of San Diego has stayed with me to this day. Then famous case was comprised of a set of basketball players. At random they are split into three groups. Group 1 was tasked with physical practice only for free throw shooting. Group 2 was tasked with visualization practice only for free throw shooting. The third group was tasked with both visualization and physical practice. 

The results were compelling. It’s no surprise that the group who was assigned both visualization and physical practice improved most over the trial period. However, things got interesting with the group that improved second best. Surprisingly, the group for which physical shooting practice was forbidden improved more with visualization alone than the group who actually practiced the free throws.

What’s the implication for you the reader? There is major skill acquisition available to you by simply seeing your efforts before you try them. The more you’re running tape in your head about your future performances, the more prepared you’ll be when they come. In fact, the science reminds us that it’s nearly impossible to overestimate the power of visualization. 

Don’t let your clean and jerk effort today be the first time you see it happen. I challenge you to run visualizations of your work meetings, your gym performances, and your important conversations in the car ride over. If you’re able to run those mental reps, then you can expand the frequency and volume of these visualizations and increase the nuanced detail of the images. While visualization is an expansive practice, even the most basic use of your visual imagination can pay dividends. 


Logan Gelbrich


8/26/19 WOD

Find a 1RM Clean & Jerk


Then, complete the following for time:



30 Clean & Jerks (135/95)


Then, complete the following for time:

1 Mile Run

20 Burpees-to-Plate

40 Overhead Plate Reverse Lunges (45/25)

60 Air Squats