Dr. Darlene Treese
PO Box 547
Windermere, FL 34786
(480) 296-3358

New Office Address
2295 S. Hiawassee Rd,
Suite 309
Orlando, FL 32835
Phone: 407-278-1598 Fax:407-203-0803

Dr. Dar's Weekly News You Can Use:

Bringing Sports Psychology Into Your Life: Visualization and Mental Rehearsal, Part 1

The ability to rehearse in real time is critical for top level performance. Pressure and anxiety tend to disrupt our timing and coordination. Athletes go out too fast on the adrenalin rush and have difficulty pacing themselves. It may also be true for you as you start new endeavors. You start out in a whirl of activity only to experience burn-out and fatigue.

The biggest problem with mental rehearsal techniques is clearly knowing what you want to rehearse. There are many different ways to visualize and we will cover some of them so you can decide what works best for you.

But for today, let's develop a way for you to assess and improve your current visualization skills. Make this a fun experiment rather than a judgment for everyone starts at a different point and then grows from there.

Some people have great difficulty developing and holding an image. Some get brief flashes of an outline of an image and then want to analyze it through their thoughts and feelings. For others, the images are just as clear as if they were on a movie screen and they were in the audience.

So try this: Close your eyes and imagine that you are going to stop reading this page. Imagine that you are going to stand up and feel the muscles in your body as you rise. What direction will you face as your rise? What part of your body will move first - your head as you lean forward or your arms, neck and shoulders? Feel each part of your body as you imagine moving. Feel your knees straighten and the tension in your legs. Imagine that you are walking across the room - feeling your feet in contact with the surface of the floor, noticing its coolness or warmth and textures. Feel the movement in your legs and arms and how they move. As you reach the other side of the room, notice your body as it turns to come back to your seat. Feel yourself pivot and turn. As you come back to your chair, imagine allowing yourself to sit down again into a comfortable position.

How did you do with this exercise? Were you able to identify and create the feelings and sensations? Rate yourself on a scale from 1-5 in these areas:

  • I had clear, vivid images
  • The images were in color
  • I saw a series of snapshots
  • The action proceeded like a movie and flowed
  • I was an observer watching myself from an audience
  • I was the actor and felt like I was inside my own body
  • I actually felt the movements as if I were actually walking
Now actually perform this activity and time yourself doing it. How accurate were you in imagining and in the actual doing it? The greater the discrepancy between the imagined and real, the more you need to develop more of a feel for what you are doing. You are developing a mindfulness and awareness of your actions that will make it easier for you to imagine and visualize what you would like to happen in the future. Practice this in various activities and have fun with it in seeing how real your imagination can be to the actual activity. You are on your way to creating a sharper mental image of dynamic future success in anything you choose!

Next Week: Bringing Sports Psychology Into Your Life: Visualization and Mental Rehearsal, Part 2