Visualisation and Imagery
Outline the basic content of a match or a technique to be imagined – write it in the first person (I). To describe a skill execution, make sure you include all components of the skill to be imagined or behaviours to be emphasised. Especially if it is a complex skill i.e. taking a free kick, kicking for goal, tennis shot of serve, a golf swing, a snooker shot. If you are describing the events in a sport situation, include all actions that occur in the event and the correct sequencing of all the actions.
- Describe the technique in details step by step
- Or your role in your team, your game plan
Use your senses to fully associate to the experience – any colours around you, sounds, feelings, detail (e.g. context, weather) and movement qualities (e.g. speed of movement) .Add the movement or kinaesthetic feelings, physiological or body responses, and the emotional responses. The words that are added are action words such as verbs and adverbs that clearly describe the quality of actions or emotions.
Refine the script
Read it to yourself and imagine the event in all its sensory, action and emotional detail. Do you feel as if you are actually executing the skill or experiencing the event? If not, re-examine the descriptors and action words to see if they accurately reflect the sensations associated with this action.
When you have a suitable script then record it on to audiotape and you can then use it as a prompt for your imagery training.
Example – Free Kick in Football
Basic Story – Components: Preparation, football, players around you, goal posts, goal keeper.
Your technique–to strike the ball look at your target- move into the ball on an angle- keeping your head down, football alongside the ball pointing into the direction you want it to go, arms out for balance, head down and strike, were you want to place the ball, were you want to place the ball.
Adding detail– Seeing the ball on the grass and the distance to the goal, striking the ball in the right place flying into the goal, seeing the position of the goal keeper, looking at the point on the goal you want to direct the ball.
Script for Striking the Ball in Football
Feeling completely relaxed and confident
Feeling the ground under your feet
Seeing the ball clearly on the grass
Focusing on were you want the ball to go into the goal
Moving into position to strike the ball
Moving towards the ball on an angle
Feeling the power and timing in the body
Feeling your foot striking against the ball exactly in the spot you want to strike it.
Feeling your body in the correct position following through from the strike
Watching the ball leave your foot and travel over the wall right in the corner you were aiming for, travelling past the pout stretch keeper
Feeling the ball hit the back of the net and the excitement of scoring a goal.
The same principle as above can be used for any technical aspect of any sport i.e. Golf Swing, Snooker Shot, Tennis Serve.
Imagery can be used in any situation were you want to focus on a specific outcome.
What imagery does, it puts you in the Driver’s Seat, giving you the opportunity to create an outcome you want, giving you the best possible chance to succeed in your task.
Imagery is exactly what you make of it. Guided imagery is not mind control. It is a process we do automatically, though rather than leave things to chance, and or let your mind control you, the visualization process actually gives control back to the individual, making conscious what has been an unconscious process and influence.
Imagery techniques allow for personal changes by changing and growing with you. The more adept you become at image exploration, the stronger your unconscious mind grows, and the more pathways you have at your command