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Mental Imagery
Introduction to the Problem
Mental Barriers such as:
• Fear
• Anxiety
• Lack of Self Confidence
prevent athletes from reaching their
peak performance level.
The Candle Problem
Solution to candle problem.
What IS imagery
• Also called
– Visualization
– Mental rehearsal
– Mental practice
Imagery is:
• A type of simulation
• “Before every shot, I go to the movies
inside my head. Here is what I see.
First I see the ball where I want it to
finish, nice and white and sitting up high
on the bright green grass. Then I see
the ball going there; its path and
trajectory and even its behavior on
landing. The next scene shows me
making the kind of swing that will turn
the previous image into reality.”
» Jack Nicklaus (1976)
Types of Imagery
• Internal imagery
• External imagery
Factors that impact imagery use
• Nature of the task
• Skill level
• Using imagery and physical practice
concurrently
• Imaging ability
Psychoneuromuscular theory
• Images that are more vivid active
muscle signals in similar patterns to the
way physical practice does
Value of imagery
•
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•
•
•
•
•
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Enhance concentration
Improve motivation
Increase confidence
Control intensity
Practice and correct sport skills
Prepare for competition
Cope with pain and injury
Solve problems
Maximizing Imagery
• Vividness
– Involve as many senses as you can
• Controllability
Keys to developing your
visualization and imagery skills
• Begin by practicing imagery in proper
setting
• Use relaxed focus
• Realistic expectations
• Use Vivid and Controllable images
• Maintain positive focus
• Apply both execution and outcome of
imagery
Your ability to use mental
imagery:
• Can be the difference between you and
your opponent.
• Can help overcome adversity
• Makes you a better competitor.