Visualization can be a helpful tool in preparing for a sports outing, athletic competition or other physical challenge. Some sports psychologists, however, suggest that visualization should be used with discretion -- and in relation to our skills, fitness level and experience.

For example, if you're a novice golfer, picturing the perfect swing may only lead to frustration if you don't yet fully understand the mechanics of a good swing. Likewise, imagining a killer tennis serve can't compensate for a lack of proper strength and flexibility training.

Visualizations can help most when your expectations are in line with your skills set. If you're not sure how to set your expectations and goals, you might want to consider consulting a sports pro or personal trainer.