Enhancing performance with imagery

We can improve our performance with visualisation. By stimulating the neuronal activity in the brain, you are rehearsing to improve the efficiency of firing and communication between the brain cells and diminishing any threat value. Combining practice with imagery is a potent way of tackling the stress associated with a particular task (e.g./ a speech, a penalty) and developing skill.

When we visualise, mentally rehearse and use motor imagery (imagine movement, but really creating the sense of the activity), the brain is very active in a similar way as to when you are actually doing the task.

Here are some simple ways. Sit comfortably in a quiet room.

1. Imagine an orange on a plate in front of you. Note it’s colour, size and texture. Imagine taking a knife and cutting the orange into segments, each slice accompanied by a light spray of juice. Feel the knife slicing the fruit. Imagine taking a segment and placing it in your mouth. Taste the flavour, feel the consistency of the pulp and the juice on your lips, teeth and tongue. What is it like? What are your body responses?

2. Athletic or business situation: mentally rehearse the task in hand, trying to include as much detail as possible: the location, people, your clothing, the weather etc. Similar to the orange task but in a context that is challenging. You will be working with the potential threat value and be grooving neural pathways that improve your skill.

3. Snapshot after success: imagine yourself after being successful. Note how you feel, your posturing and body.

4. Starring in a movie: imagine you are watching a film of yourself being successful at the task in hand. It could be a business meeting or an important move in a match. Play out the detail as mentioned above. The more real that you can make it, the more engaged you’ll be.

Take responsibility for your thoughts, build confidence and develop skill by training your brain with imagery.

For further information on these techniques and others contact us on 07932 689081.

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