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IMAGERY: HOW TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND COACHING. Damon Burton University of Idaho. WHAT IS IMAGERY?. Have you ever used imagery? Imagery is a form of simulation training where experiences are created or recreated in the mind.

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IMAGERY: HOW TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND COACHING

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IMAGERY: HOW TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND COACHING

Damon Burton

University of Idaho


WHAT IS IMAGERY?

  • Have you ever used imagery?

  • Imagery is a form of simulation training where experiences are created or recreated in the mind.

  • Imagery is an experience similar to a sensory experience but arising in the absence of the usual external stimuli (Martens, 1982).


HOW DOES IMAGERY DIFFER FROM VISUALIZATION?

  • Visualization is limited to 2 senses—what you see and what you hear.

  • Imagery involves all 5 senses

    • Sight

    • Sound

    • Taste

    • Smell

    • Touch/feel

  • Imagery is enhanced when we use all the senses.


DOES IMAGERY WORK?

  • Anecdotal reports

  • Case studies

  • Intervention

    packages


HOCKEY GREAT WAYNE GRETZKY ON IMAGERY

  • “We taped a lot of famous pictures on the locker-room door: Bobby Orr, Potvin, Beliveau, all holding the Stanley Cup. We’d stand back and look at them and envision ourselves doing it. I really believe if you visualize yourself doing something, you can make that image come true . . . I must have rehearsed it 10,000 times. And when it came true, it was like an electric jolt went up my spine.”


GOLF GREAT JACK NICKLAUS ON IMAGERY

  • “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First, I “see” the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I “see” the ball going there; its path, trajectory and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the images into reality.”


DIVING GREAT GREG LOUGANISON IMAGERY

  • “I did my dives in my head all the time. At night, before going to sleep, I always did my dives. Ten dives, starting with the first one I’d do in the Olympics, and I did everything as if I was actually there. I saw myself on the board with the same suit—everything was the same. If the dive was wrong, I went back and started over again. It takes a good hour to do perfect imagery of all my dives, but for me it was better than a workout. Sometimes I would take the weekend off and do imagery 5 times a day.”


WHY DOES IMAGERY WORK?

  • Imagined events have a similar effect on the nervous system and mental processes as actual events.

    • The brain can’t tell the difference between vividly imagined events and the real thing.


WHY DOES IMAGERY WORK?

  • Psychoneuromuscular Theory

    • Later learning – well-learned skills.

    • Primarily motor responses.

  • Symbolic Learning Theory

    • Early learning – new skills.

    • Mental blueprint.

    • Cognitive + motor responses.

  • Mental Skills Hypothesis

    • Indirect effects on performance.


FACTORS AFFECTING IMAGERY EFFECTIVENESS

  • Type of task

    • Cognitive skills improve more compared to motor skills.

  • Playing experience

    • More experienced performers benefit the most from imagery.

  • Imaging ability

    • Imagery fundamentals can be improved through systematic practice.


USES OF IMAGERY

  • Improves concentration:

    • Distracts the distractions.

  • Builds confidence:

    • confidence boosters.

  • Controls emotions:

    • Coping imagery.

    • Raise or lower arousal.


USES OF IMAGERY

  • Increases motivation.

  • Acquire and practice sport skills.

  • Develop and practice sport strategies.

  • Coping with pain and injury:

    • Promote healing.

    • Maintain skills while recovering.

  • Problem-solving skills.


IMAGERY BASICS

  • Multi-sensory process:

    • Re-experience event realistically

    • Create a new “reality”.

  • Vividness:

    • Videotape.

  • Controllability:

    • Imagine consistent excellence.

  • Relaxation training:

    • Brain waves in “alpha” state.


IMAGERY BASICS

  • Positive focus:

    • Exceptions.

  • Image process

    and outcome:

    • Focus on preparation.

  • Real-time imagery:

    • Slow motion.


IMAGERY BASICS

  • Internal versus external imagery:

    • Internal imagery is the perspective of seeing things out of your own eyes.

    • External imagery takes the perspective similar to watching yourself on video.

  • Use internal imagery to practice skills and strategies.

  • Use external imagery to study opponent’s strategies and look for flaws in technique.


PREPARING TO PRACTICE

  • The right setting.

  • Relaxed attention.

  • Motivation to train.

  • The right attitude or expectancy.

  • Systematic practice.

DQ 1: What experiences do you already have using imagery?


IMAGERY PROGRAM HOW-TO’S

  • Imagery skill evaluation

    • Evaluate sensory skills, vividness, and controllability.

    • Target weak areas to improve.

  • Setting

    • No distractions  distractions present.

    • Away from site  on-site.

    • Off-the-field  on-the-field.

  • Content

    • Non-sport imagery  sport imagery opponent- and situation-specific imagery.


IMAGERY HOW-TO’S IDEAL TIMES FOR IMAGERY

  • Before and after practice.

  • Before and after competition.

  • During competition.

    • Pre-shot, pre-snap, pre-race,

      and between play routines.

    • Breaks in action.

  • Down-time.

  • Injury rehabilitation.


LEARNING NEW SKILLS

  • Provide a good demonstration of the skill or play from multiple angles.

  • Have students/athletes take several deep breaths to relax.

  • Describe the skill as they run through it in their minds.

  • Rehearse skill using internal imagery as you wait to practice .


SUPPLEMENTING VIDEO

  • Watch video of specific techniques and strategies you want to work on several times.

  • Guide students and athletes through imagery, highlighting key points.

  • Have them repeat perfect performance 5-10 times on own.


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