Visual Imagery: In Your Mind First.
Before moving into the waggle and the straightaway, you must envision the whole entire high jump. Sometimes, visual imagery looks like closed-eyes concentration like Blanka Vlasic below.Embed from Getty Images
Other times, it resembles wide-eyed excited movements like Derek Drouin below.Embed from Getty Images
Professional Opinions About Visual Imagery.
Visual imagery is powerful, according to professional opinion.
Judith Albright, MA, said this about visualization:
Visualization is similar to daydreaming. In both processes, you create imaginary mental images, but the difference between visualization and daydreaming is the intent. Daydreaming allows your mind to wander at will, but when you visualize and focus on something specific you are putting intention behind it. It is the intention that creates the energy that creates the attraction. The attraction starts the action that produces the manifestation.
Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared:
people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads”. He found that a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%).
Furthermore, high jumpers who visualize the whole high jump in their head before jumping have better success.
When a jumper sees the exact sequence of the straightaway, the foot placement, the speed, the lean, the plant, the block, the takeoff, the crossbar clearance, and the landing, chances are they will be performed the same in the actual jump. Here is Emma Green Tregaro intensely using visual imagery before her jump.
Olympic Athlete Study.
A noted Ph.D. discovered Olympic athletes fire the same muscles when using visual imagery and when actually performing; the mind cannot distinguish between reality and practice so the visualization helps the muscles fall into place in reality (http://regeneratemagazine.com/2014/04/envisioning-success-the-power-of-visualization/).
As a jumper stands at the starting line of his or her approach, they get ready to start by getting their muscles and mind conditioned to do what they want. Visualizing the entire jump with determined concentration helps the jumper perform as expected with no surprises.