Mental Training Technique In Sport

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ABSTRACT: Terms such as imagery, visualization, mental practice, and mental rehearsal have been used interchangeably among researchers, sport psychology consultants, coaches and athletes to describe a powerful mental training technique (Taylor & Wilson, 2005). Mental imagery researchers especially in the area of sports psychology are evolving better ways toward helping athletes to enhance their performance. One of such areas of scientific research at seems to have gained ground among scholars is the mental imagery rehearsal. There is therefore every reason to explore how this psychological skill works in sports toward enhancing athletic performance. This paper is posed to answer the question of what mental imagery rehearsal is all about, as…show more content…
By using mental imagery rehearsal as a mental training tool, athletes have the capacity to see and believe, which gives them the confidence and focus to perform successfully. Infact many athletes use imagery, but they do not use it systematically and often are unable to control their images. Mental imagery involves the athletes’ imagery themselves in a specific environment or performing a specific activity. Hence, elite and numerous athletes are turning towards mental imagery rehearsal to take their game to the next level. Different uses of imagery in sport include: mental practice of specific performance skills, improving confidence, and positive thinking, problem solving, controlling arousal and anxiety, performance review and analysis, preparation for performance and during imagery, (plessenger 2009). Sport psychologists have attempted to understand the exact mechanism that causes mental imagery to work. Evidence supports the effectiveness of imagery in improving sport performance, but only through a controlled systematic practice, (Murphy 2005). Numerous theories exist to support that mental imagery rehearsal is a veritable tool in enhancing sport…show more content…
(1999) proposed a four-component model that sought to describe how varying types of motor imagery (MI) has the potential to impact cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes. Researchers examined the use of imagery in sporting situations, and examined the use of motor imagery during training in preparation for a competitive event, immediately prior to, and during competition, as well as during rehabilitation. The imagery types highlighted in this model are very similar to those of the model by Paivio (1985) and Hall, Mack, and Paivio (1998), (i.e. Cognitive General, Cognitive Specific, Motivational General-Arousal, Motivational General-Mastery and Motivational Specific). Based on Martin et al. (1999), the examination of studies that have assessed the effects of motor imagery in sport, three outcomes have been reported. Motor imagery in sport was most frequently used for facilitating skill and/or strategy learning and performance, modifying cognitions associated with self-efficacy, self-confidence, effort and/or motivation, factors associated with regulating arousal and competitive anxiety. Additionally, individuals’ ability to generate accurate mental images has an impact on performance (Martin et al., 1999). When developing the applied model, Martin et al. (1999) stated that they purposely attempted to reduce the numerous imagery-related variables to the smallest possible theoretically significant factors. As a result, many variables (e.g. imagery

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