Visualization is one of the best mental strategies that you can use, which will help to boost your confidence, improve your focus and relaxation, and decrease your reaction time or any anxiety that you may experience during freediving. In this episode of The Complete Guide, Marese Secades, freediver, instructor, and Filippino National Record holder, explores visualization exercises, which can be practiced by any freediver, in or out of the water.

In-Water Visualization

So, you do this in the water, while you are on the buoy preparing for your dive, ideally, as you are doing relaxation breathing. I like to do what is called the body scan. The body scan helps to really remove any tension or stress that you carry in the body, even those that you are not aware of. So, I like to imagine this white light on the top of my head, and this white light will slowly flow down to my body and bring me relaxation. For example,  as the white light is touching my forehead, I relax the space in between my eyebrows, and then as it slowly flows down, I relax my eyes, I relax my cheeks, then I unclench my jaw, and then  I relax my neck and my shoulders and so on and so forth until the whole body is fully relaxed. I try to be specific as much as possible.


After this, I like to do what is called transportation and this is helpful especially when you are in a stressful situation, like when you are in a competition or when you are trying to complete a course requirement. So, transportation  is basically transporting yourself into a less stressful environment. A lot of people like to imagine their happy place, wherever that may be, or some just like to imagine a relaxing scenery or image. For example, a sunset by the beach, a field of flowers, or clouds rolling by, or sometimes just even imagining yourself alone on the dive line.

I also like to apply what is being practiced in hypnotism, where I imagine myself going down a flight of stairs and at the bottom of the stairs would be this really comfortable bed, and then on each step as I go down, I actively relax my body, so that when I reach the bottom I know that I'm fully relaxed and I imagine myself trying to go to sleep on this relaxing bed. So, when that's done I know that I am ready and fully relaxed for my dive.

Dry Visualization

Another type of visualization that you can do is called dry visualization. This is very important especially if you want to really improve on your dives. Dry visualization is done of course dry when you are not diving and the first one is called anticipatory. This is where you imagine all kinds of scenarios that can happen during a dive and of course the possible solutions to it. So, what this does is lessens the reaction time that you may get when you experience something for the first time because you've already visualized it in your mind, you've already practiced it. For example, you can imagine yourself diving and then eventually having your lanyard getting caught on the rope. Now, if this happened to you the first time this will bring some negative feelings, but since you've already practiced it in your dive, you will apply the best possible solution.


Now, the last but not least is called automation. This is probably my favorite type of visualization because  I don't need to dive to be able to train, and it helps me to get into what is called "the flow state", where everything is automatic, I don’t have to think about what's going to happen next,  or what I need to do I just get into that flow. So, for you to do automation first you need to write down each specific step of the dive, from the surface as you are doing your relaxation breathing,  down to the bottom, and then back up again on the surface, as you do your surface protocol.  Try to be as realistic as much as possible and be very specific. So, write down everything that happens on each phase of the dive, if you could on every meter of the dive. Now once you have this written down, it's important that you memorize it. After memorizing all the steps, you can then sit down and try to visualize this dive. Now, when you visualize, try to be positive, as much as possible, so that when you bring up these good and positive feelings during your visualization,  it will also come up during your actual lives.

Now, when you visualize there will be two types of imagery, external, where you imagine your form and your technique, so it looks like you are the safety and you're looking at yourself diving on the line. And the other one is internal, this is where the senses come into play. So, you imagine the feeling of equalizing your ears, or you can also imagine the feeling of pressure on your chest. Now, if you do this repetitively your brain will think that it's actually training or it's actually diving, so when you do your actual dives you're very much prepared and you get to enter into this flow state, where everything becomes automatic. So, I really hope this helps and I  hope that you apply this on your dives.

Looking For A New Freediving Neck Weight?
Watch This!

Share this on