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What Exactly Is Mental Imagery And How Do You Learn To Use It?

What Exactly Is Mental Imagery And How Do You Learn To Use It?

Mental imagery is the method of vividly creating or recreating an athletic performance in your mind. Once learned, this skill can be used to help adjust mood and energy levels before and during competition and can be extremely useful in preparation for success on the firing line. Mental imagery is used by many professional athletes in different sports to help them keep the competitive edge during competition.

To begin using mental imagery you need to follow these easy steps:

  • Stay calm and relaxed―Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths while allowing all distracting thoughts and images to escape your mind.

  • Integrate all your senses―Now imagine yourself performing your shooting process from beginning to end in your environment. Be sure to pay attention to the details of the surrounding environment using all your senses. This will help make the imagery more vivid.

  • Control your images―Imagine yourself performing as you want to perform. Think positive.

  • Feel what you imagine―Add movement to your imagery by going through the motions of your shooting process while imagining them in your mind. This will also help make the image more vivid.

  • Practice―Mental imagery will only become easier and more vivid through practice. Devote at least 10 to 15 minutes a day to mental imagery for optimal effectiveness.

Adding mental imagery to your training plan should help lead you to a more rehearsed and confident performance on the line.

Photo by Jim Powell

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