Training Your Brain For Sport Lifestyle

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Athletic Lifestyle – Mental Imagery

Mental imagery can be characterised as a perceptive psychological ability wherein the athlete uses all the senses to produce a mental experience of an athletic performance. The athlete mimics reality by conceptually practicing a motion, envisioning visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory, and perhaps even effort-based cues. There is substantial evidence for the value of mental imaginings in the augmentation of sport skill,grounded on a meta-analytic assessment of the works. Throughout the initial stages of using imagery, the sportsperson might start with a comparatively simple, visual (i.e., uni-sensory,as opposed to multisensory) image. This supports fruitful practice of the technique. As with learning any skill via going from artless to complex, the person begins with static pictures, such as imagining a golf ball or mentally inspecting the visual features of a tennis racket. The intensity or detail of the image should become clearer and clearer with sustained practice. Some people have a natural adeptness for attaining image lucidity, but everyone can progress with frequent practice. The perception of the image can be external (third person) or internal (first person). Despite the fact that the research literature is uncertain as to whether one is greater, it appears that the image which is more appealing and natural to the individual is more appropriate.

Evidently, the internal, first-person outlook seems more specific to skill execution, inasmuch as the authentic task is performed with such an orientation. After the individual effectively visualises a motionless object with vivid detail, he or she may begin to move the object, inspecting it from a number of diverse perspectives. For an image such as basketball, the athlete may try to rebound the ball and feel it against the fingertips. In this respect, the individual increases intricacy by governing the image or moving it with control and by bringing a multisensory outlook to bear (i.e., by means of tactile or kinaesthetic on top of visual,perception). Practicingfruitful execution of a skill during abstract competitive circumstances can provide the subconscious mind with optimistic memories, consequently improving the individual’s sense of confidence and readiness for the particular sport.[1]



Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle. NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd Edition. Champaign, Illinois: H

[1]Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle.NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd Edition. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2008.