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20. IMITATE THE BEST AND COMPETE MOSTLY WITH YOURSELF

Arthur Ashe

You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.

(Richard Bandler, 2008)

Developing your skills:

  1. Pick a role model for yourself – a person whose physical skills you’d like to emulate. Take your time to study her behavior, either watching her in person or from a video. Relax, as you watch it and try to tune in your way of perceiving and listening. Focus on his/her stream of action.
  2. Once you become familiar with her conduct, close your eyes, relax and visualize his/her sequence of motions performed with highest perfection. Observer closely and listen attentively to create a model of those skills for yourself.
  3. As a moment has passed by since you have started watching his/her actions, move in accordance with this person, imagine that you see through his/her eyes, you listen through his/her ears and you feel his/her emotions.
  4. In your mind, perform the same sequence of actions, just this time on the inside. Pay attention to how your body reacts. Repeat it a couple of times, until you feel that you’re familiar with it.
  5. Leave the body of the person you chose, intending to retain his/her skills to the greatest extent when you will be coming back to consciousness.
  6. Whenever you have an opportunity, practice the skills you borrowed. Observe how the training has improved your results.
  7. Repeat this exercise at least once a day for the first 21 days and then at least once a week to maintain high level. Between such drills, practise in reality as often as you can.

(Robert K. Cooper, 2006)

In today’s world those who have outrun the best claim that it has actually been their own gradual self-improvement and not the competition itself that has determined their results. They realize that their triumphs don’t take someone else to lose.
Scientists advice people to drop the competitive thinking while training, because the results improve once you let go the pressure. In fact, according to one of the researchers dealing with this area, the highest outcomes not only do not require any competition, but also they seem to involve a complete lack of it.