Mind Power- Part 3
By Doreen Greenberg, Ph.D
You can get MIND POWER. You can train your mind, like you train
your body for sports, to accomplish what you want. One of the
best examples of the powerful mind-body connection is imagery.
Mind Power 3 - Positive Imagery - training your mind to
control your body!
to be a great champion you must believe that you are the best,
and if not- pretend that you are." --Muhammed Ali
What is imagery?
sometimes called mental rehearsal or visualization. It is creating
& re-creating an experience in your mind. The idea is to mentally
picture a successful event in your head as vividly as possible.
And in doing so, you enhance the probability that it will happen.
It's not that hard --we do it naturally, all the time. We have
daydreams, we remember things, we plan, we set goals, we hope
for something. It does take some practice to do it right. But
it can be very powerful.
How does it work?
When you imagine yourself performing exactly the way you
want - you are creating patterns in your brain (the same way we
create fears)- pathways for future behaviors.
Your brain cells will follow these patterns that you are
You are the DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER AND STAR for your
You have the power to create the perfect performance image
Imagery can be very useful for athletes.
You can use it to manage your emotions, and adjust your energy
level. It is a good
way to maintain your level of intensity. Athletes use mental rehearsal
to perfect new skills and fine-tune old ones. It can help a lot
for concentration and focus - or to refocus when you've lost it.
It's also a wonderful motivator - picturing your goals can help
you get through those tough practice sessions. Imagery is a great
confidence-building strategy. After all, your image is completely
under your control.
So use it to prepare for competition. Make it a habit-- like stretching
& warming up, getting mentally ready for the challenge.
Keywords for imagery: Insider's view; controllability; vividness.
Rather than taking the viewpoint of the observer watching an athlete
in action, try to take the "insider's view". This means
that your perspective should be from within the athlete. It's
not like watching yourself on a T.V. screen, it's imagining you
are really doing it. You see and hear and feel all the things
you would while performing your sport. This insider view is more
Remember, you control everything in your own imagination.
You're in charge of what happens in your imagery. Use your power
wisely - imagine success. Keep those images as vivid and
real as possible. The more authentic-the better. Think about possible
scenarios -with all the details.
Take a few deep breaths and settle down before you start.
Use all your senses
Try to incorporate all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes
and feelings of your event.
Construct clear and real images.
Have specific images-- they will be more powerful
Try to have an "insider's view".
Concentrate on the details
Always, always, always imagine
Picture the possible. Reach for your goals. Dare to dream.
Beginner imagery: try the following for practice.
On top of a mountain
Seeing a sunrise
On the moon
Flying over clouds
Looking out over the ocean
Intermediate imagery: next, try the following script.
WATER BOTTLE IMAGE
You are familiar with the fluid replacement drinks that replace
the valuable electrolytes lost during strenuous exercise. Use
this image to help you to replace what you need during your sport.
Imagine numerous water bottles on a table. Each contains an ingredient
that you need, and when you drink it, it will create itself within
SELF-CONFIDENCE, POWER, STRENGTH, SPEED, ENERGY, CALMNESS, COURAGE,
ENDURANCE, and anything else you need to have for your sport performance.
As you drink from the bottle, see and feel the ingredients flowing
through your entire
body. Feel it being absorbed into your skin and organs. Imagine
looking into a full-length mirror and seeing yourself become this
athlete. See yourself performing like this new image. Feel the
joy and satisfaction. Release all the imaged from the past that
limited your potential.
Now you are ready to create your own imagery for your sport. Just
follow the guidelines. If it doesn't work at first - it's okay.
Stop and rewind. Try it again. You have all the controls - if
its fuzzy-make it clear. If you are having trouble at first -
put it into Black & White (like and old movie). Or play it in
your head in slow motion. Then put it into living color or at
real speed. Keep trying-until you get it right.