Your imagery experiences

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    Neil Martin

    What was your experiences of attempting imagery. Did you find it difficult or did it come quite naturally to you? Do you think you would be better at it next time?

    majdeddin mostaan

    First, it is very difficult and causes impatience, but the rest is pretty sweet, especially when the full resolution images, color, feel and see. Experience has shown that it is the guiding thoughts before the race and even when it is very useful, and must be exercises, such as exercise of the race in.


    On Michael Phelps’s Imagery:

    Phelps’s imagery techniques encompass the what if scenario, which I think is critical. His anticipation of the potential “what can go wrong” is important in that he mentally prepares an immediate recapture the moment plan meaning he can quickly get back on track instantaneously, thereby minimizing or even eliminating letting the mistake affect his performance.


    Neil Martin

    Thank you for your thoughts. I think your point that imagery is a skill that requires a great deal of effort to master is absolutely right, but some great athletes such as Michael Phelps, have perfected it to great success.

    Adam Szuster

    It is a lot harder than I thought! In my case I can sort of see scenarios that I visualise, but touch, taste and smell are non-existent. But it is always with a black ground and seems muted.I find that in my sport I can and do visualise particular moves and combinations of play before a game, but when I am on the rink i am very much in the moment.

    Interestingly a 2015 study that found that there is a small number of people who are unable to visualise at all – a condition called Aphantasia.

    Tiffany Page

    I use imagery all the time as a Olympic Weight Lifter. I use all 5 senses for about a week or so before a 1rm lift. I have seen that it has helped improve my lifts and getting stronger. It does take a lot a patience and work but worth it in the end.

    Lisa Rubin

    I think because I enjoy food and cooking I can somewhat imagine taste and smell. I can think of places and times that are special memories and those can relax me. However, just because I imagine myself doing push-ups does mean I will execute them well in reality!

    Ana Delchevska

    It can be beneficial to athletes if they practice visualization on daily basis. Practicing it on simple things, such as exercises, grocery shopping, food preparation. That way they can attain confidence in the technique itself and can ease the use of it for bigger actions and events.

    I had problem with imagining a good execution of future plans. Instead I was imagining everything I could think of that can go wrong. Superstition came along. I was afraid that if I imagine a good execution, I would fail for sure. I got rid of this thanks to my practice of yoga. The integral approach I follow acknowledges visualization a lot. Before the yogic practice there is simple visualization/preparation for the practice that follows. Before every static posture and some of the more complicated dynamic techniques, a visualization is a must. It is crucial so you can check in advance if the body has no problem performing. Also you make sure to guide your mind and focus it on what you are doing at the moment.

    PS. Thank you Adam Szuster for the article on Aphantasia.
    It states a new somewhat revolutionary insight into imagery and visualization.


    In my active years of running the 100m dash, I could visualise myself running the race meter by meter with clear view of the track in front of me. I could also visualise my speed at various portion of the track and the need to sprint all out at the last 20 to 30 meters and feel the wind. The surroundings were all in black and white colours.
    Sound, smell and taste did not exist.

    General discussion: For my case that I could imagine 2 senses out of the
    5 what does it means – that I am weak mentally?

    5- what
    does it mean – What does that mean-

    Peter Terry

    Hi Edwin
    Thanks for sharing your own imagery experiences as a 100m sprinter. Using only two senses certainly does not mean you are weak mentally. The reason that most sport psychologists will advocate a complete sensory experience when using imagery is because there is some scientific and much anecdotal evidence that the more real the imagined experience the more likely the carry over to actual performance.


    When you first master imagery, I think it is a very rewarding mental skill to posses. A lot of studies have shown how effective it is – especially in increasing self-efficacy.

    I can use imagery to some extent but I have difficulties getting smells, noises etc. into my imagery. Otherwise I usually use it when I’m learning a skill or how to approach a specific hit in badminton.

    And very interesting article about Aphantasia!

    Ong Chuan Leong

    In my experience, it is relatively easy to imagine sights but not so easy for smells, tastes, sounds and feel. Also, it is easier to imagine things that you have had direct experience with before (e.g. making a cup of coffee) compared to something that you don’t (e.g. a snow-capped mountain).

    Nevertheless, this is an eye-opener as my prior imagery experiences were mostly confined to sights, plus a bit of sound and feel. I used to play recreational football as a striker for my academic class and company, hence I mainly imagined myself scoring goals in ways that were done by world-class strikers (I watch lots of YouTube videos on football and imagine myself playing like professional footballers too!).

    It definitely takes practice to attain a full, vivid imagery experience!


    As an athlete myself i am competent in using all five senses when using imagery. This is something that comes quite naturally to me as i have done this since i was a child. The night before competitions i like to go through the next day, this includes going through the event including things such as the warmup, my routines, the music i am listening to, how my body feels, what i am thinking and the competition itself. I let myself go through the whole competition once, this stops me from over thinking and allows me to sleep better.


    Imagery goes well into high speed sports.
    helps develop the senses to react to the focused reaction points.
    This will help in reacting to the dynamic factors.


    Due to my sport (skydiving, B.A.S.E.) I know imagery, I also use it. Sometimes its easier then other times it, I think it depends on the concentration and the ability to focus. I think this is a very powerful tool!!!

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