Your imagery experiences

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    Julian Fernandez

    I found it easier to “see” and “feel” the cup of coffee while doing the suggested activity. Getting the rest of the senses involved was a bit more challenging. I think it would become easier with practice, since tasting, hearing, and smelling are not the senses I rely on the most during running (maybe only when hydrating and feeding).

    What I found interesting was I had been already using the imagery concepts and tools for reviewing a trail race I took part in a couple of days ago: on a long, steep downhill stretch some male and female racers passed me by. I consider myself a pretty decent downhill runner, so I was intrigued about what they could be doing different to run even faster… I went into a kind of “recording” mode, paying attention to their gait, body posture, technique, etc. in order to later analyze it and try to re-create it. I’ve been trying to imagine (mostly seeing and feeling; though now I will also add the rest of the senses) what would it feel like to run downhill that fast.


    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.


    Sorry, here are the details
    Podcast on aphantasia interviewing Professor Zeman.
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    When I was a graduate student of Physical Education, learning numerous skills of different sport was a daily affair. As I was basically a runner and running is a cyclic movement and don’t involve complex & discrete movements, I was quite un-coordinated at the beginning. It is not also possible to practice all the skills all the time. Still I managed to learn so many skills. Thanks to Imagery. Imagery helped me a lot in learning & correction of skills.
    You can practice imagery thousand times-a-day without actually involving in any physical movement. But Imagery do involve with our physiological system. It may increase or decrease your heart beat, respiration.
    I also believe many people does imagery without knowing about it as psychological skill training. People naturally do it, as I did.

    Aline Olivio

    Stay relaxed to make the activity was the hardest part, but then it was really fun and interesting. I believe that train several times very close to the reality.

    Alexander Oshinsky

    as a football goalie I use imagery to help myself prepare before every game. I sit down before the game and imagine every shot and save I might have to make before the game even begins. I use it to imagine my positioning and the positioning of my teammates and the opposing players so I can determine how to best communicate with my teammates and distribute the ball during the game.


    When I was a senior in high school I would use imagery to prepare for track and field events. I found it was beneficial to go through each part of the race to prepare. I would imagine myself getting set in my blocks, the official speaking and the gun going off, to then thinking of the turn through the straight away and across the finish line. During races I was having difficulty finishing, and I think imagery helped me to focus and finish the race.

    Imagery is difficult for me sometimes, because my mind wonders so much. Sometimes it’s hard for me to just focus on one thought and put everything else aside. In the exercise of imagining making coffee, I felt like I could see it, hear, and smell, but I also felt like I was fighting myself a little on other things going on.

    Imagery is definitely a skill that has to be worked on, but can be very beneficial for the elite athlete.

    Yeo Chern Tat

    In my years as a competitive archer, imagery exercises had help me prepare and train for competition. During training, it helped me to visualise and work towards a shooting form. My mental skills coach had helped me using imagery to manage my feelings or do corrections to my techniques. I remember he mentioned that the mind cannot tell what is real and unreal in our imagination and by using imagery, it had help us overcome some of our conscious restriction in performance in our mindset.

    In your exercise, the first part evolves different feeling and feeling, like rainbow gave a sense of joy, aroma of coffee evolves Alertness and at the same time, anchored me to calmness. The second part like the coffee exercises evolves a mixture of feelings and emotions.

    Conclusion, Imagery is a powerful tool to use but personally, you got to have a good mental skills training coach to maximise this tool to maximise performance.


    It was easy, cause ive seen them before but got a hard time focusing on the actual event. It will be more natural if i was doing it with motion. Surely if i were to do it again, i believe it will be easier.


    Imagery has been and still is something I use most days and find simply perfect tool for sports, exercise and general daily life.

    Ayan Chatterjee

    Imagery is a great skill to develop for any body. What personally helps me is to try and visualise what i’m going to do before i do it, then do the activity, then close my eyes again and re-picture how i did it. This gives me a whole sense of the action and also lets me evaluate myself while using imagery. I definitely agree that doing it before let’s say a free throw can help you hit that free throw better than if you hadn’t pictured it in your head, but even if you do hit it, if you go through the whole motion again, your imagery skills develop because you learn to become more conscious and mindful of your actions and you can really see that as you keep doing this, that your imagery improves faster than if you did it just before hand. A good way to try and see if this works for you, is waking up in the morning and picturing your day and then at night before you go to sleep, just replay the whole day in your head and see how it compares to what you had done in the morning. This is just an experiment i like doing and i hope this can be beneficial to others as well.

    Stephen Githinji

    As an athlete, most times I failed were times I had envisioned the failure forthcoming. I find it a very critical psychological skill for one to have and to master. Of more importance is the art of practicing to the point that one is able to always create positive outcomes even from negative situations.

    Imagery can be detrimental to other psychological skills such as Concentration, Self-Confidence among others, if not well managed to avoid negative thoughts.

    However, its potential benefits when channeled the right way expose one to a world of limitless possibilities.


    At the beginning was very difficult to focus on the exercise. When i relaxed after 5-6 attempts the feeling was wonderfull. An effective imagery exercise, according to my opinion, is based on a good relaxation

    Stephen Githinji

    I found it relatively easy to evoke sights, sounds and feels. Taste is still a little difficult for me to recreate in my mind.
    A physical activity i successfully recreated was the sights and sounds of a penalty shootout I took part in at a past tournament.

    However, generally I find it easy to recreate experiences I have taken part in, be it negative or positive.


    I think imagery skills depends on your experiences with what you are trying to focus on. If its drinking a cup of coffee but you’ve never done this its going to be extremely difficult. Additionally, a person who is aware of and uses their senses regularly will master this quicker than others. It is my guess that a mindful person does this regularly.

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