with Jimmy Petruzzi
Tips (to be used before visualisation). To begin visualization, sit or he down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Just let everything go and completely relax. Relax every part of your body. • starting from your toes flex your toes and relax • Moving up to your ankles flex and relax • working your way up every muscle in your body, tense your calves release and relax • your muscles at the front of your legs your quads and at the back of your legs your hamstrings, tense and relax In haling and exhaling gently, imagine breathing out stress in the form of black smoke, and in haling a relaxing clear energy, relaxing your lower back, chest, neck, facial muscles, eyes, and relax your mind, as you relax your mind, imagine emptying all your thoughts in a bin liner. As you empty your thoughts you free your mind, knowing you can pick up any thoughts if you wish later, though for now, just let go and relax. Once you feel relaxed, begin thinking of a time when your felt happy, peaceful, calm, and in tune with the world. Imagine every aspect of the time, the place, the people, the sounds, colours, feelings, involving all of your senses, you are now at peace and in tune with the world, open to opportunities. It is important to use all the 5 senses For example, if you like to visualize the waves crashing on a beach, imagine first what this looks like: the waves crashing on the shore, the waves moving in from the seas, the size and movement of the waves, the sky above and the sun filtering through the sun sparkling on the ocean. Then imagine how the smell of the sea, sunscreen, barbeque in the distant. Next listen for the sounds the waves crashing on the shore, children laughing and playing in the distance, the breeze blows, birds singing. How does the sand feel beneath your feet? , soft and smooth and warm, the gentle sun on your glowing on your back, gentle breeze blowing on your face, Imagine drinking a cool drink quenching your thirst As you become more involved in your visual image, your body will relax and you will be able to let go of the problems or worries that you’d felt before. To encourage this relaxation to occur, you can punctuate the images with positive statements, such as “I feel loved and secure” or “I feel calm and relaxed.” Following are some imagery scripts to assist you with your sport. Using imagery to prepare for press conferences and team talks for coaches To begin, choose a comfortable position, seated or lying down. Make sure that you have no distractions around you and are not trying to do anything besides focusing on these words and allowing yourself to become relaxed. Get comfortable, preparing to relax. Start to relax your body. Take a deep breath in…. and breathe out…… In….. and out…… Continue to breathe deeply, slowly, and comfortably. Count down now, from 10… To 1. As you count each number, you can become more relaxed. Let’s begin. 10…. let your muscles start to relax…. 9…. the tips of your toes are warming and relaxing spreading gently through your body….. 8…. your muscles are becoming more and more relaxed….. 7….. notice your mind drifting… becoming more relaxed…. 6…. relaxing even further now letting everything go….feeling peaceful…. 5…. a warm feeling of relaxation and love spreading through your body… pleasant and relaxed 4…. becoming more and more relaxed and peaceful, tranquil…. 3…. free your mind to relax….. 2…. feeling completely relaxed….. 1…. you are now in a deep state relaxation. Very deeply relaxed, comfortable, loved, secure and happy. Allow this feeling of relaxation to grow… becoming even more relaxed…. calm and peaceful. Keep with you the feeling of relaxation, love and security as you think about public speaking. Notice your reaction, physically and emotionally, to the concept of public speaking. Perhaps in the past this has been a source of anxiety for you… notice now how you can be relaxed, calm and confident while thinking about speaking in public. Calm, relaxed, confident. Peaceful and relaxed. In the future you will know that the stress symptoms you may experience when faced with speaking publicly indicate excitement. This is a positive feeling, filling you with energy. The thought of speaking in front of people fills you with good feelings of excitement and anticipation. You may even be feeling a bit excited now, just thinking about public speaking. Let this feeling subside as you return to a state of deep relaxation. Take a deep breath in… Hold…. and exhale. Breathe in…. and out. In…. out…. Continue to breathe deeply; noticing how you relax a bit more each time you exhale. Breathe in…. and relax, breathing out. In…. relax…. Breathe…. relax….. Keep breathing slowly and calmly. You can relax like this any time you need to. Whenever you want to calm down, you can breathe deeply, and relax… like you are relaxing now. (Pause) Now let’s begin a guided imagery exercise to allow you imagine successfully speaking in public, and enjoying the positive experience. In this visualization, imagine that everything goes perfectly. Imagine what it would be like to be the most confident, best public speaker in the world. Create an image in your mind image of an excellent public speaker…. imagine a confident, well spoken person…. see that this person is you. Picture yourself as a superb public speaker. Begin to create a mental picture of yourself preparing to give a speech. Imagine that you are preparing in advance to speak. You are feeling confident; excited … you’re looking forward to speaking. After your focused preparation, you are ready to speak. When the day arrives for you to do public speaking, you are excited, eager to begin. Imagine going to the location where you will speak. See yourself looking forward to speaking. You are excited, eager to talk in public. You can’t wait to share your knowledge. You have memorized the words easily, and know that they will come to you exactly as you need them. Picture entering the location where you will speak, people are gathered to see you. You love it. They can’t wait to hear what you are going to say and you can’t wait to tell them. Imagine getting up to the front of the room, ready to speak. The crowd waits expectantly. Picture all the details of this scene. See yourself standing at the front of the room, feeling confident. See the people in front of you, waiting to hear you speak. Imagine yourself beginning your speech. Confident your phrases and words are well timed. All throughout your speech, you are breathing calmly, deeply… pausing between each sentence. You maintain a comfortable, smooth rhythm. You talk with smooth, clear speech. Ideas flow. Your hard work and extensive preparation allow your public speaking to be easy, automatic, and almost rote. Everything seems so familiar. It is such a great feeling. Imagine giving your speech. See yourself as you enjoy this moment. You are confident, comfortable, and having a great time. The anticipatory excitement you felt at the beginning has smoothed into a feeling of confidence and calm. You feel so at home in front of all these people. They listen, enjoying hearing you speak as much as you are enjoying speaking. You enjoy this experience immensely. When you reach your conclusion, and speak the final words of your prepared speech, imagine giving the audience time to ask questions. You answer every question easily and proficiently. See your excellent answers satisfying each member of the audience. The audience is pleased with your performance. You are pleased with your performance. The exhilaration at having completed this public speaking fills you with happiness, contentment, and pride. Notice how fantastic it feels to have shared your unique knowledge to this group of people, knowing we are all unique and special in our own way. Notice how you can feel confident and calm when doing public speaking. This includes giving prepared speeches, responding to questions; letting the words flow…. you are skilled and able to do any sort of public speaking. You are able to relax before, during, or after you speak. You are confident and assertive. Practicing this visualization in your mind is like performing actual public speaking. If you are able to do this visualization and be calm, you can also speak in public calmly. Congratulate yourself for completing this challenge. Now that you have completed this public speaking guided imagery, take a few moments to reawaken your mind and body… gradually becoming more alert. Count to 5. When you reach 5, you will be fully awake and feeling calm and energized. Confident in the knowledge you’re a special and unique and have the ability to speak to audiences successfully and confidentially 1 … becoming more awake and alert 2…. feeling your mind and body reawaken 3…. move your muscles a little 4…. almost completely awake now 5…. feeling full of energy and refreshed recharged and positive. Imagery for relaxation after a match Start by getting comfortable, finding a position seated or lying down where you can relax. You might want to close your eyes, or focus your gaze on one spot in the room. Take a deep breath in…. filling your lungs…. and now breathe out, emptying your lungs completely. Breathe in again; through your nose…. now blow the air out through your mouth. Breathe in….. and out. In….. out. Keep breathing slowly like this, fully emptying your lungs with each breath. Your deep breathing calms and relaxes you… allows your body to relax. You can totally relax and let everything go, this is your time, your time to relax and let everything go, relaxing, enjoying this time for yourself. Enjoying being totally relaxed. You deserve this time, and need this time to function at your best. This time of relaxation will allow you to be as calm and healthy as possible. Appreciate yourself for who you are, this relaxation is providing your mind and body the time it needs to balance itself it is productive, healthy time. You are looking after your health and well being. Letting everything go, emptying all your thoughts As you continue to breathe slowly and comfortably, turn your attention to your body. Notice how you are feeling physically. Simply become aware of the sensations in your body. You can hear and feel your breathing, your heart beating, Your feeling pleasantly relaxed. Imagine completely relaxing every part of your body, beginning at the top of your head releasing any tension, breathing out any tension, and relaxing deeper and deeper, and moving downward. Becoming more and more relaxed focusing on your eyes, nose, chin breathing out tension and feeling more and more relaxed…. down to your shoulders. Noticing how your body feels more and more relaxed. Keep moving down your body. Releasing any tension out of every muscle. Feeling more and more relaxed, Nearing the centre of your body, at the level of your stomach. Breathing out any tension and becoming relaxed. Continue to relax every part of your body. Releasing any tension in your hips… breathing out the effects of any tension, becoming further relaxed, Releasing any tension in your knees…becoming more and more relaxed, all the way down to your feet, releasing any tension out of your feet, feeling more and more relaxed Take a moment notice how your body feels to be relaxed, noticed how relaxed you are having released any tension from your muscles, joints, bones, Having let all this tension goes, feeling totally relaxed, Focus on how it feels to be relaxed…. imagining every muscle in your body releasing every last bit of tension, becoming relaxed…. lets the tension go. Releasing every last bit of tension bit by bit, until you’re totally relaxed. Feeling totally relaxed…. warming and relaxing. Notice where your body is the most relaxed. How does the relaxation feel? Imagine that this relaxation is warm and soothing, moving…. growing… spreading to relax other parts of your body. Feel your body becoming more relaxed as the area of relaxation grows to every part of your body. Imagine that the air you are breathing is pure relaxation. Imagine that the oxygen you breathe in is relaxation, and the carbon dioxide you breathe out is tension. The air exchange is an efficient relaxation system. Feel the relaxation as you take it in through your nose and relax your body, adding to the area of relaxation already there. Expel your body’s tension, breathing it out through your mouth. Continue to exchange tension and relaxation. Continue the generalized anxiety relaxation exercise. Feel the relaxed area getting bigger as you breathe more and more relaxation into your body. Breathe out tension and feel the tension getting smaller. Breathe in relaxation, and breathe out tension. Each breath in adds to the relaxation, a full breath more of relaxation is added to your body. Each breath out removes any tension. Keep breathing in relaxation, and breathing out tension. More and more relaxed with each breath. (Pause) Soon the areas of tension are very small. Your breathing can eliminate them entirely. Imagine breathing out any last bits of tension. You are feeling so calm… so relaxed… breathing in relaxation, and breathing out relaxation. Breathe in… Relax Breathe out… relax Keep breathing smoothly and regularly, relaxing more and more deeply with each breath. You are now completely relaxed, calm and at peace Feel the warmth as it continues up from your feet, up your legs. Notice the warmth running through your legs. Feel the core of your body as the warmth coming from your arms and legs meets at your stomach. Feel your core relaxing. Imagine that your whole body is completely relaxed…. enjoying the feelings of relaxation Simply rest, enjoying this relaxation. Floating…. relaxing. Focus now on your thoughts. Notice your calm thoughts. Enjoying this relaxation. Let your mind relax and wander, and as your mind wanders, notice how peaceful you feel. Now, simply allow your mind to drift. You don’t need to focus on anything at all. Just rest, and relax, enjoying this pleasant state you are in. Keep relaxing for a while longer, enjoying this pleasant, calm feeling. Enjoy the feelings of relaxation. When you’re ready gradually coming back to the here and now Gradually re awakening. Sit quietly for a moment with your eyes open, reorienting yourself to your surroundings. Stretch if you want to, allowing your body to reawaken fully. When you are fully awake and alert, you can return to your usual activities, feeling wonderful. What is important for any athlete or coach is to get a good nights sleep in the lead up to a sports event SLEEPING SCRIPT for Night after match or before when adrenaline is keeping you awake This guided sleep relaxation script will help you to fall into a deep, restful sleep. Begin by lying on your back placing your hands in a surrender position. You can change positions any time you need to in order to be more comfortable, but start by lying on your back for now. Mentally scan your body for areas of tension. Make note of how your body feels. During this sleep relaxation session, you will focus on releasing any tension in your body, and on quieting the mind. Once the mind is calm and peaceful, you will easily drift into pleasant, restful sleep. Breathe in, drawing in life-giving air and relaxation. Exhale slowly, expelling any tension. You might have thoughts about things you did today, or things you need to do tomorrow. Perhaps you are worried about something or someone. Just imagine emptying all your thoughts into a bag, knowing you can pick the bag up in the morning and re visit your thoughts if you wish Now is the time to clear your mind for sleep, so tomorrow you will be refreshed ready for a new day, totally refreshed and positive about the tasks you have through out the day. Now take a few moments to think about a pleasant experience in your life, reliving the pleasant experience like its happening in the hear and now, notice what you heard, felt, saw, focusing on a pleasant experience. For the next few minutes, let you relax and re live a pleasant experience. Really relax and enjoy this time and moment, feeling totally relaxed and at peace, calm. Notice how your body feels right now. Where in your body is today’s tension stored? Focus your attention on the part of your body that feels most tense. Focus in on one small area of tension. Breathe in deeply, and then let that tension go as your breathe out. Notice where your body feels most relaxed. Let that feeling of relaxation grow with each breath. Spreading further and further the feeling of relaxation. Feel your attention drifting as you become sleepy and calm. For the next few moments, you can choose to focus on counting in a relaxing, calm, peaceful voice, and become more relaxed as each number passes through your mind. Concentrate your attention on the number one. As you count from one to ten, you will become more deeply relaxed. As you relax, you can allow your mind to drift into pleasant, refreshing sleep. Count slowly with … 1…. Focusing on the number 1….. 2… you are more deeply relaxed…. deeper and deeper… calm. Peaceful. 3… feel the tension leaving your body… relaxation filling your body and mind. Concentrating just on the numbers. Picture in your mind number 4. Very relaxed and calm…. tingly feeling of relaxation in your arms and legs…. very heavy… pleasantly heavy and relaxed. Concentrating on number 5… As you drift deeper… deeper. Calm. Sleep washing over you. Peaceful. 6….deeply relaxed…. 7…. your body and mind are very calm… 8… so very pleasant and heavy…. 9…allowing your mind to drift…easily…no direction… floating….relaxing… 10… you are deeply relaxed…. Now you may count back down from 10 to 1. When you reach 1, you will be fully relaxed and drift into deep sleep. Counting slowly. Focus only on the numbers and with each number you’ll begin to feel more relaxed Start now at 10…. And very slowly focus on 9…. …as you become deeply relaxed… warm… heavy… peaceful…comfortable… Sleep relaxation… 8; pleasant and calm… 7; drifting… 6; letting go of everything… Sleep relaxation… 5; feeling very good and peaceful… At peace with yourself… 4; feeling sleepy… Deeply relaxed… 3; sleep deeply giving your body time to revitalise… Completely calm and relaxed… 2; feeling completely, relaxed, calm and at peace with the world 1; feeling warm and calm… Relaxed… Peaceful… Relaxed… Allowing you to drift into deep sleep… Deep pleasant sleep relaxation… Sleep… Visualising for sport ‘Although you can train your body physically by sheer persistence, it’s much harder to train your mind….all this visualisation did not come to me in a flash, I had to work at it, and learn how to use it.’ Sally Gunnell Basic picture 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 Adding details 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. Tape it 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.