Attempting imagery is an interesting experience for me. I find it difficult. I have always found imagery difficult and don’t find any of my five senses stands out. Instead I just think about what it should be like. I have tried self-driven imagery (conjure up an image myself like for the activity in this module), guided imagery (listening to a recording guiding my focus) and imagery of something I am emotionally attached to (my cat – Shadow) and haven’t found any style of imagery has helped improve my experience. I could try increasing the amount of practice.
The concepts of using imagery for the ideal performance, when you need a contingency plan and how you cope positively, the frequency of practice leading up to a competitive event as well as pre-routine helps to direct how to implement the strategy.
Reading about others experiences and challenges has been helpful.
Reading the article on aphantasia (Adam Szuster suggested) and listening to a podcast interviewing Professor Zeman (see below for details) highlighted interesting points I could related to. I found the information on brain function and its changes was also food for thought. When I was 9 years old I experienced a traumatic brain injury and wander if this has been a contributing factor to my imagery experience or lack of.
In a practical sense, experiencing difficulties with imagery is important to consider when working with athletes as imagery is recognized as significantly strategy for performance. I think a scale gauging their imagery would be helpful if they are struggling with imagery – Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ). It may be relevant to check how they have found using imagery, previous head injuries, diseases that have impacted on neurological functioning and mood issues. This might be especially relevant to consider for contact sports like boxing and rugby that regularly have concussions.