I recently stumbled across an amazing story from Michael Phelps and his coach. It contains a powerful concept that Phelps used to win race after race during his Olympic swimming career. And it has to do with playing a movie.
But this isn’t a movie you watch on your TV or in the theater. Let me explain…
The Michael Phelps routine
Anyone who knows of Michael Phelps, the famed Olympic swimmer, isn’t surprised that he has a rigorous training routine. Every Olympic athlete does.
But what might surprise you is that a core part of his training routine has nothing to do with swimming or physical fitness. There’s something he does every day when he goes to sleep and when he wakes up. He does it during the day and he specifically does it before, during, and after every race he competes in.
It’s called watching the videotape.
Michael Phelps and his coaches have worked together to create a visualization that he plays in his head over and over. This is something they’ve crafted and scripted. He has completely memorized this video and he can play it in his head at a moments notice.
So, what’s in it?
This is a video of the perfect race. But it’s not just the perfect race. This video covers everything from him arriving at the arena to putting his headphones on to standing in front of the pool to getting out of the water and claiming his medal. It contains every tiny detail.
And by the way, this isn’t something he does occasionally. Phelps is doing this every single day, and he has been for years. It’s an integral part of his training routine. That video is so ingrained in his mind that his coach will simply say, “Get the video ready” and it’s like a switch turns on in his brain.
And here’s why this is so valuable…
When you see Michael Phelps at the edge of the pool, about to dive into the water, it might look like he is just starting his race. But he’s not. He’s already halfway through the video. He knows what’s going to happen next…he’s going to win the race. He knows he’s going to jump in the water, swim his race, win it, get out of the water, and accept his medal.
All he has to do is follow the tape.
What’s your video?
You might hear this story and think: “Well, that’s great for Michael Phelps. But I’m not an Olympic athlete, so how does this help me? Can I actually implement this in my life?”
The answer is YES!
Anyone can implement this in their life, and you can do it for anything. Use it for whatever goals you want to achieve. Dial in your video and play it over and over in your head. I’ve even recorded my “video” and left it playing under my pillow (just the audio, of course).
Once you’ve memorized and subconsciously embedded your video, you’ll be amazed at what happens next. Everything is clear. You know what’s going to happen next in your life or with your goals because you’ve seen it hundreds of times.
When Michael Phelps dives into a pool, there isn’t a question of whether he will win the race or not. At that point, he’s already won the race. He had already won the race when he arrived at the arena…
So, what does your video look like? How will you create it? And will you stick to watching it every day?