Visualization is the formation of a mental image of something that can be used in multiple different ways in sports. Visualization can be used by teams and athletes to help formulate strategies, visualize the game prior to the match, or helping calm oneself down during a match.

In the case of formulating strategy, those involved will spend time watching film on their next opponent. From there they can use visualization to imagine the style of play their opponent will play and what would be best to counter it. They will have to consider the players and the style of play of each play to help determine the best counter. This form of visualization is used by all involved with the team to help determine a counter strategy for every game.

The next form is visualizing the game prior to the game. In this case, the player spends time the night before visualizing how a match might play out. In this case a player will visualize how an opponent will play and how they will counter, for instance if there is a shot down the line in a tennis match they will visualize how they will return said shot (cross court, down the line or some other shot). This way they will no longer have to think about what they will do when they get into that situation during the match. This can be used to help keep a player calm during a match since they are already prepared for different situations and they already know how they are going to counter.

On the topic of staying calm, we have the final form of visualization. This would be to use visualization during a match to help relax and refocus. During a match when things start to go south and a player starts to panic one form of visualization that could be used would be to visualize a calming play or your “happy” place. This could be the beach, your room, the forest, or any place that helps put your mind at ease. Once you focus on your “happy” place you can start to relax and refocus on what you need to do.