Fox News recently did an article on the top 10 habits of elite athletes.  While many of the items on the list came as no surprise, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, etc…, a few of them were quite surprising.  One of which was #10, envisioning success.  This is something I have done in the past, but often very infrequently.  I found it quite interesting that many of the elite athletes do this on such a frequent basis

Below is the list from Fox News:

10.  Envision Success
Most athletes recognize that a significant proportion of performance is mental. Yet it’s uncommon for most men to spend any time on mind training and preparation. Elite athletes frequently report visualizing their success before it happens. By playing a “mental movie” of their conquests in upcoming competitions, they not only improve their performance, but also pre-emptively calm their nerves. The clearer the visualization, the more powerful the impact.

9. Cool Down
Athletes perform cooldowns specific to their activity. An athlete with an outstanding, balanced range of motion who just completed a lifting session may not require a cooldown at all. In contrast, an older athlete who just completed an interval training session will benefit from some low-intensity movement and calf and hip flexor-specific stretches. Cooldowns help facilitate recovery by processing metabolic waste products, restoring shortened muscles to their resting length, and allowing the athlete to unwind mentally.

8. Consume Sports Drinks
Optimal performance hinges on optimal fuel and hydration. Athletes consume sports drinks with easily digested carbohydrates and electrolytes. Consuming a sports drink during this type of workout also helps maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range so athletes don’t have peaks and crashes in their energy levels.

7. Identify With Successes
Nothing will cripple performance like damaged confidence. Every mistake holds a lesson, but dwelling on mistakes will inevitably lead to their repetition. When athletes make mistakes, they try to learn from and forget them instantly so they don’t linger. Having a short memory and identifying with past successes helps athletes maintain a high level of performance, even after major setbacks.

6. Post-Game Training
Many athletes train immediately after a game. This comes as a surprise to many men, but it’s important to remember that the goal of in-season training is primarily to maintain improvements made in the off-season. Training after a game “clumps” competition — and training-related stresses — and allows for a prolonged recovery window. For example, instead of playing a game Sunday, training Monday and then practicing or playing again on Tuesday, the athlete will play Sunday, train immediately after and take Monday completely off. Increasing the recovery window is helpful in minimizing residual stress levels and optimizing one’s hormonal balance.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/11/top-10-habits-elite-athletes/#ixzz1V2vzERnh