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Mental Imagery - Lets create a winning performance you can see !

Mental Imagery/ Visualization in sport is a tool that athletes have been using since the early 1900 ( Smith,D.1990). It can be used to improve confidence, skill mastery and can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Getting started without a sport psychologist by your side talking you through each step is possible if you take the time to prepare your own script prior to starting your meditation.

Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers in a journal for reflection before you start. Review your answers.

Next find yourself a quiet place to visualize. We want you to be comfortable but not too comfortable. Lying on hard flat surface so you can feel each muscle in your body is ideal.

We do not want you to fall asleep. Walking meditation in nature without distractions is also ideal.

Mental Imagery Script - writing the script first

  • Recall a time where you had an outstanding performance.

  • What were the environmental conditions? - weather, surface, light, wind, temperature

  • What thoughts did you have before and during the event?

  • What emotions did you feel ? Remember strong emotions allow us to store our memory in long term memory.

  • How did my body feel? -before, during and after.

  • What are some obstacles that could possibly get in the way of my next performance?

  • How will you manage to overcome these obstacles?

  • Are there any key words coach wants you to connect with a skill? Remember 3 key words.

  • Bring your awareness to your breath and try to slow your breathing down.

  • I like to breath in for 4 and out for 7, so my exhale is longer and I am fully expired.

  • I then take my next big inhale through my nose again, filling my chest from the pit of stomach to the top of my chest and then breath out through my mouth slowly like I'm breathing out through a straw.

Ready for Imagery

  • Now close your eyes and take yourself through your performance from start to finish.

  • Play it through your mind like a movie.

  • Go back and change it if you loose your focus or something disrupts you -it takes practice.

  • See yourself and your athletic technique/ form.

  • Be particular about details. If you are a swimmer for example, see your fingers entering the water, your elbow high, your feet breaking the water when you kick.

  • In your mind you will hear your breathing, you will feel your body working hard.

  • Do not focus on your opponent -you can not control them, they are just there.

  • Focus on you and your output - can you work harder, go faster?

  • You can hear the crowd but they are not your focus either, that is just background noise.

  • Enjoy your mental imagery movie. Daydream. Daydreaming needs to be a scheduled session. Try to repeat this exercise several times a week.

  • Enjoy the outcome, did you get the result you were hoping for? If not start again!

  • Repeat this imagery exercise until you are happy with your mental performance.

  • How are you feeling now?

  • I hope you feel AMAZING!

  • You have just prepared your mind for a winning performance.

Now you are ready to perform without thinking!

Coach B

ps. If you want to take you Mental Imagery to the next level :-) ....check in with me and I'll share an advanced level of imagery I use with athletes who use my ANR program.

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