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  • In nearly every case, the athlete that can see the best performs the best. For most sports, vision is the irreplaceable key to success. Think of your sport. Extraordinary vision is a giant advantage in sport, whether you mean vision in the literal sense of sight, or the ability to anticipate what is going to happen in competition. As the quote from the ski racer above indicates, however, athletes may struggle to maintain control of their vision. An athlete with great vision can lose that ability in certain situations. This is a fascinating area-- the interplay of the five basic senses, the brain’s ability to focus, and the environment. For example, have you ever been driving along, lost in thought, listening to the radio, when you smell that electrical burning smell that might be coming from the car? Most people in this situation will turn down the radio to focus on the smell! Why is that? There are a variety of theories on attention and concentration that would explain this occurrence, but a basic aspect of all of them is that the brain has a limited capacity to focus. Occasionally, the brain will pull attention from the various things it could be monitoring (sights, sounds, feelings, internal thoughts, emotions, hunger level) and direct nearly all attention to a critical area. Although he was experiencing his first major competition and could have worried about embarrassing himself or disappointing is his parents, he focused on seeing himself hit the ball perfectly. The big question for athletes and coaches is this: Can athletes get better at focusing upon the most important things (such as vision) and avoiding focus on the things that don’t help (for example--anxious feelings)? Experience has shown that when athletes are under pressure the lack of confidence can have a negative impact on their ability to use vision effectively.
  • Learning: systematic training
  • Imagery Exercise

    1. 1. Seeing is Believing Sharon Chirban, Ph.D. Areté Sport Psychology Performance Enhancement
    2. 2. VISION: 1. The sense of sight. 2. The ability to anticipate and make provisions for future events.
    3. 3. Power of Imagery  You can harness the power of imagery to provide the vision you need to reach the upper limit of your potential.  Imagery is a mental technique that programs your mind and body to respond optimally.  By using imagery as a mental training tool - you have the capacity to see and believe!
    4. 4. When you see and believe you have confidence and focus to perform successfully.
    5. 5. Imagery may be defined as using all the senses to re-create or create an experience in the mind.
    6. 6. Re-creating an Image We are able to imitate the actions of others because our mind takes a picture of the skill that we use as a blue print for our performance.
    7. 7. Recreating Experience  Imagery is based on memory.  We experience it internally by reconstructing external events in our minds.  Imagery is also useful to recreate your own performance after competition in order to evaluate your performance and identify strengths and weaknesses.
    8. 8. Outstanding Performance Imagery Technique Recall previous outstanding performances and re-create them through imagery to increase confidence for upcoming game.
    9. 9. Create Experience Even though imagery is a product of memory, our brain is able to put the pieces of the internal picture together in different ways.
    10. 10. Athletes learn to see and believe.
    11. 11. • Imagery should involve all the senses. • Visualization is seeing with the mind’s eye. • Sight is not the only significant sense.
    12. 12. Vivid images are key to visualization. The more vivid the image - the more effective it is.
    13. 13. Imagery Exercise One Steel Arm Exercise
    14. 14. Imagery Exercise Two Imagine yourself walking down a dark tunnel toward a door that you see up ahead. Feel yourself striding confidently and purposefully - you are happy and anticipating walking through this door that leads into your personal ENERGY ROOM. Open the door and walk into the room. You are comfortable and relaxed as you lie down on your back in the center of the room on the plush carpet. As you gaze up at the glass walls and ceiling of the airtight room, you are energized by the sight of green palm trees, bright tropical vegetation and warm sunlight outside the transluscent walls and ceiling. As the door closes and seals off the room, you close your eyes and begin to take slow deep breaths of special air that is piped into the room.
    15. 15. With each slow and deep inhalation, you feel more energized. With each slow and deep exhalation, you release all the negative tension and thoughts, and you feel increasing focus, intensity and energy. Once you have reached your optimal energy level, get up from the door and down the tunnel to your everyday life. See and feel yourself smiling with satisfaction as you stride out of your Energy Room and walk through the tunnel feeling focused, intense, centered and confident.
    16. 16. Emotions associated with various sport experiences are an important part of imagery.
    17. 17. Imagery can help to control anxiety, anger, pain, or excitement.
    18. 18. Vivid imagined events produce sensations in your muscles similar to doing the activity itself. Through imagery you strengthen your muscle memory by having them fire in the right sequence without physically executing the movement.