Imagery (Mental Skills For Fitness) - Coach Sharm



Did you know that sport injuries have been predicted to occur at a rate of 17 million per year?

That is more than the number of people going down with flu. At least 8 out of 10 athletes were injured between the ages of 13-21 years old. Most of the time, they will experience a series of emotions as they would not be able to compete in competitions or do any trainings in order to recover. Barry Joyner, Associate Professor in the Jiann-Ping Hsu School of Public Health at Georgia Southern University stated that they will experience loneliness, fear, tension, shock, disbelief and uncertainty of the future.

A series of studies and tests was done to show how the effects of relaxation and imagery help in the sport rehabilitation setting on self-confidence and fear of returning to sport. It also shows the possible relationships between perceived social support, transition and self-confidence with the modified version of the Social Support Survey, Sport Imagery Evaluation and the State and Trait Sport Confidence Inventory.

Why We Use Imagery:

  • Reduce anxiety
    When we are in a game, we are overcome with anxiety to do well and therefore by using imagery, we can picture ourselves doing well in front of a big crowd in order to succeed.
  • Rehearse
    In order to get those complex movements right, use imagery before, during and after training sessions and actual game situations
  • Achieve optimal level of arousal for your sport
  • Build self confidence
  • Familiarize
    Reinforce the important skills before executing the game. Example, before a free kick in a soccer match or doing laps at the swimming competition
  • Refocus
    Sometimes we are distracted by negative thoughts or actions and therefore there is a need to refocus our mind in order to overcome the negativity

The use of imagery will enhance your sport skills and strategies, achieve goals and enhance confidence. It is a skill that needs to be practiced to show its effectiveness prior to any games or competitions. For example, a goal keeper would be able to use imagery to correct errors or flaws. He imagines an error being made and quickly replaces the image with the correct behaviour to prevent it from happening.

The goal keeper would use imagery the night before the game, such as entering the stadium and imagining a big crowd cheering his team on. He would continue using the imagery thorough the game routine, warm-ups and game time situation before going to sleep. Not only will it psyche him up for the game, it will also enhance his mind to think that way. It is an integral part of many psychological training programs due to the wide range applicability and ability to be implemented virtually anytime and anywhere.

Using imagery is also good whenever you’re feeling lethargic or lazy to go for your workout or personal training session (we’ve all been there). Imagine yourself and the positive emotions that you’d feel while or after exercising. Imagine too the satisfaction that you have felt after a good workout session or when you start noticing positive changes in your figure.

Start using your imagination today!

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