Mental Training for Parkour.
This is an idea I've had for a while. I think mental training comes with practicing Parkour after while. But what about dedicating time to train the brain, and just that?
Visualization seems to be the technique that tons of athletes use for increased performance, and so I sought out to find a visualization pattern that I could adapt for Parkour.
Here's my first effort - give it a try and let me know if it works or not. I reckon regular application of doing the pattern before every training session for one week, or 7 times.
Stage I: Pre-Training Imagery Rehearsal
Simply stated, you will mentally visualize (like seeing a series of pictures on a movie screen), by bringing images into the mind, all the simple and complex elements associated with the forthcoming workout.
About 15 to 30 minutes prior to your training session, go to a place of solitude (void of ringing telephones, ticking clocks, people talking, and bright lights). Sit in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and begin slowly and deeply to breathe in and out through your nose and begin to relax (called relaxed breathing).
Now, begin mentally to empty your mind of all thoughts that do not pertain to the session. Don't let intruding thoughts attract your attention. This could be any thought such as what you did yesterday, what you are going to be doing after the session. Sometimes even a remark that someone made that you didn't particularly like will pop back into your head, but don't let it.
Drive away the nagging negative voice from the dungeon of your subconscious mind that might be telling you to skip your training for one reason or another. Mentally see yourself well rested, recovered, and stronger from your last training session a couple of days ago.
As you continue to progress into a relaxed state, visualize the collective atmosphere of the training energy in the given location where you will train, that is being generated by the other, tough traceurs. Feel this sensation and how it gives you a special power to control your body an its movement.
If you are training solo, picture the negative energy from all the drones around the city. Feel this negative energy and appreciate that it makes you feel sick, that it makes you want to train even harder to break out of that psychological prison.
Become a master of training by mentally reproducing the specific movements you are going to carry out in your training session. Repeat this process several times in your mind.
Finally, see yourself at the conclusion of the training session with a bone-deep sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, as you have trained hard, both mentally and physically, and you chose to live in the moment every second of your session.
When the mental pictures and related sensations that you expect to see are clear and vivid in the mirror of your mind, -open your eyes. Your should now have an unyielding commitment, intense desire, determined persistence, and powerful will to succeed moving, flowing, pulsing, and surging through your entire being.
It's time then to get up off of the floor and step into the hardcore trenches of the training location.
Stage II: One-Set Mental Imagery-Rehearsal
This stage of mental imagery-rehearsal is conducted approximately 10-15 seconds prior to each movement that is harder than previous movements (you have already tried), or that induces fear. While standing or sitting, however you feel most comfortable, close your eyes and take in and exhale short breaths of air as you mentally prepare (with selective focus) for the moment at hand.
You must go to that place in your consciousness where there is no pain, no negative influences, no fear, a state of mind where only positive forces dwell.
Your mind must be time-locked (cohesive) with the muscles in your body in order to do battle with the proceeding movement. Begin by picturing in your mind's eye the jump, the ledge, the rail or whatever the obstacle is. Imagine this so intensely that you can smell the surrounding air, feel the sensation of being in the moment, hear the deafening silence as you carry out your successful and graceful movement, and so forth.
If you are going to be performing the speed vault, for example, recreate all of the movement mastery techniques that are necessary for the successful completion of the vault.
The more organized and detailed you can make this ritual of mentally focusing on the movement at hand, the better chance you will have for training to the outer limits of the art of movement. Here's another way to explain it. Think of how organized and detailed the ritual of mental imagery-rehearsal would be if it related to making love to a beautiful woman. The details are never slippery or vague. They're always clear and vivid.
As the magnitude of mental imagery-rehearsal for the upcoming movement becomes more and more vivid, you will begin to feel torrents of unleashed fury and your heart will beat in a manner that reflects your ability to dominate and prevail in the moment. Open your eyes. You are now 100% mentally focused and psyched. Gun it! It's time to flow across your location.
Tip: During your solo training sessions, play your own favorite high-energy music to trigger strong energy responses.