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IMAGERY. Steve Greer, Elizabeth Andrews, Sarah Griffin. Imagery A Mental Process. Imagery is defined - A product of your memory, experienced internally through the recall and reconstruction of pervious events. Not limited to just experiences, imagination plays a big part.

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Steve Greer, Elizabeth Andrews, Sarah Griffin

imagery a mental process
ImageryA Mental Process

Imagery is defined

- A product of your memory, experienced internally through the recall and reconstruction of pervious events.

Not limited to just experiences, imagination plays a big part

other names for imagery
Other Names For Imagery


Mental Rehearsal

Symbolic Rehearsal

Mental Practice

Mental Film

history of imagery
History of Imagery

Greek Philosophers led the discussions of Imagery

Aristotle was the first systematic cognitive theorist, he gave imagery a central role in cognition.

He quoted imagery saying “The soul never thinks without a mental image, and that spoken words being the symbol of inner images

different senses of imagery
Different Senses of Imagery

Kinesthetic Sense

Involves the sensation of bodily position or movement that arises form the stimulation of sensory nerve ending in muscles, joints and tendons.

Visual Sense

The awareness of vivid images through sight

does imagery work
Does imagery work?
  • Research evidence supporting the effectiveness of imagery as a mental training tool is divided into three areas:
      • Enhances performance and learning
      • Enhances thoughts and emotions
      • Successful athletes use it!
1 enhances performance and learning
1. Enhances performance and learning
  • The research done on the idea that an internal sensory experience has the power to help athletes perform better has been divided into three sections
      • Mental practice- able to repeatedly perform a skill in your mind without experiencing the physical fatigue
      • Preparatory imagery- used right before performance in order to “psych up”, calm down, focus, etc.
      • Multimodal mental training interventions- effective when used concurrently with other mental training skills
2 enhances thoughts and emotions
2.Enhances thoughts and emotions
  • Not only does it help you perform better, but it enhances those competition-related thoughts and emotions
  • Research has shown that imagery:
          • Enhances self-confidence
          • Enhances motivation
          • Enhances attentional control
          • Helps decrease precompetitive anxiety
          • Effective in changing athlete’s perceptions of anxiety from harmful and negative to facilitative and challenging.
“An imagery Intervention During the Competitive Season With an Elite Rugby Union Player”By: Lynne Evans, Leigh Jones, and Richard Mullen
  • Purpose of the Study:
      • To examine the effects of an imagery intervention in a practical performance environment
  • The Participant:
      • Had no formal training in sport psychology
      • Began the study as a member of the National “A” team
  • Method:
      • Data collected over a 14 week period which included the competitive season
      • Data collection included semi-structured interviews, diaries, and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire
  • The participant used Cognitive Specific (CS) and Cognitive General (CG) imagery and was able to refine his imagery skills
  • He learned how to control him imagery, make his images clear and vivid, and incorporated all senses into his program
  • By doing so he was able to control him anxiety, activation and motivation level, and increase his confidence
  • During the 14 weeks his performance progressed and he was able to advance to the first choice selection for his position during the national tour
  • Received the “Most improved player of the year award”
3 successful athletes use it
3. Successful athletes use it!
  • More successful, elite athletes use imagery more extensively, more systematically, and have better imagery skill than less successful athletes
how does imagery enhance performance
How does imagery enhance performance?
  • There are four theoretical explanations:
      • Psychoneuromuscular Theory- imagining a skill creates innervation in the muscles similar to the actual physical execution of the skill
      • Symbolic Learning Theory: Mental Blueprint- develop well-grooved mental blueprints of a skill in order to enhance performance
      • Bioinformational Theory: Response Set- for imagery to be effective, the individual must systematically mentally practice appropriate and productive mental and physical responses to the competitive demands of the activity. (Imagery can be detrimental if practiced incorrectly!)
      • Attentional-Arousal Set Explanation: Mental Set- allows the individual to get mentally “set” for the performance by directing their attention on what they need to do and creating an optimal energy level for performance
can imagery hurt your performance
Can imagery hurt your performance?


  • If visualization is not controlled, or if an individual focuses on the wrong images at the wrong times
basic training
Basic training

Imagery is a skill and we all have different strengths.

We can build a foundation and strengthen our imagery muscles!

3 types of imagery exercises
3 Types of Imagery Exercises
  • Vividness
    • Sharpens the details and strengthens the details.
  • Controllability
    • Learn to manipulate images at will.
    • Control your images.
  • Self – Awareness
    • Become aware of underlying thoughts and feelings.
now you re ready
Now You’re Ready!
  • Personal Imagery program
    • The thing to remember is that practice makes perfect so keep it systematic.
    • K.I.S.S
      • Keep it simple and smart.
things to remember
Things to Remember…
  • When using imagery
    • KISS/ systematic
    • It can be done anytime and anywhere
      • Cassette tapes
      • Videos of past performances
      • Imagery logs.