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Bringing About Success through Imagery and Arousal Regulation Andrew Francis PSY 6312 Performance Enhancement University of the Rockies
2 . This work is a detailed imagery and arousal program designed to heighten performance by utilizing the memory senses and imagination to elevate mood and build confidence through positive expectation. Although the visual aspect is vital to the process the ability to use the many senses available allows the individual utilizing the process to heighten the benefits of the practice.IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION Abstract Imagery is a very powerful tool used by some of the most elite athletes in sports.
The term actualize is used here to embody the entire sensory system that really is at work during the process. sound. I was one that did not fully grasp the concept and how something as simple as imagining could bring about such wonderful and empowering results. and to simply gather an image without including any other sensory perception would lead to a rather dull experience. heighten mood and produce a healthier outlook on life through positive expectation. Sight. various arousal steps. Weber suggests that imagery aids in quieting the mind and eliminating negative thoughts that interfere with performance (2007). and finally the incorporation of visualization and arousal to bring about some of the profound benefits that so many world class athletes experience. In hindsight I realize that my inability to utilize my senses to truly “actualize” what I wanted was what hindered me from developing into a more proficient player early on in my career. Although the visual aspect is vital to the process the ability to use the many senses available allows the individual utilizing the process to heighten the benefits of the practice. .IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION Bringing About Success through Imagery and Arousal Regulation Imagery is a very powerful tool used by some of the most elite athletes in sports. Introduction to Imagery and Arousal Regulation Not everyone fully comprehends the power that lies within visualizing. touch. taste and emotion all must come into play in order to really make the illusion created become actualized and real in the mind. Seeing is but a fragment of what takes place in day to day living. The imagery 3 and arousal regulation program involves relaxation techniques. Visualization allows individuals to take an active approach in creating their own success in sports and in life. Systematically following this program overtime is known to build confidence.
In order to get completely relaxed it helps to find a quiet place with no distractions. Exhalations too should be through the nostrils and exhaled fully to constrict the stomach. While sitting or lying comfortably and relaxed subtly scratch the knee. direct awareness in the other knee but do not scratch.IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION Getting to the Point of Relaxation 4 Actively creating a scene in the mind relies heavily on the ability to relax and concentrate in order to be fully engaged in the process. Do not rush this process as it is very important in being able to actualize the intended scenario. Invoking Arousal As stated previously. emotions. and thoughts. the ability to actualize involves being able to use available sensory processes to make the practice real in the mind. Once in a comfortable position take 10 deep breaths. Focus on the region and feeling there. In getting to a point of complete relaxation individuals are able to become more aware of their senses. Feel free to play around with this part of the process. This is one of the hardest things for people to do because it calls for people to become aware of the many perceptions available to individuals at any given time. Keeping that feeling in mind. as it is quite new for many individuals. Hold the awareness there until the sensation becomes apparent. Stay focused there until able to consciously invoke a tingling in that region without touch. Once comfortable with this . This allows for the individual to fully concentrate on the process and the experience. Sit or lie comfortably so that you can be relaxed but not so much so that one falls asleep. The best way to build this awareness would be to focus on something small and to steadily increase the focus. Do not continuously scratch. Inhalations should be through the nostrils and expand the stomach. but simply scratch once to create awareness of the feeling.
the stomach has butterflies. Sight is one of the most familiar senses for people to be aware of. Once comfortable with this process. try to focus on the internal organs such as the heart. These organs are often associated with the nerves felt in sporting events. If its football. Actualize the heart slowing down. actively creating the scene of success. In the same way. When describing things. If you are a swimmer. If you play basketball vividly imagine the structure of the arena. lungs. This part of the process is the first step to being able to actualize created events in the mind. allow the stomach to expand and constrict. and the breathe from the lungs grows shallow. As you breathe . . Are you at home or away? Picture the opposing team. visualize the pool. When nervous. become aware of the lungs. Pick the sports scene. and stomach. Focus on the heart now. As you focus on the heart beat try to slow it down by becoming more calm. creating the ideal environment for success becomes easy. even if to a small degree. Vividly imagine the place. Actualizing the Scene Now the fun part comes. Notice the speed of the heart beat.IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION part of the process. people often first begin with a visual description. Notice the court and the advertisements around the arena. With each breath feel the cool air expanding them as your awareness grows more and more. the heart beats faster. Notice the fans in the stands. Becoming aware of these organs allows individuals to recognize nervousness and actively 5 combat those feelings. The more specific the visualization is the more real it becomes. What time in the day is it and what time during the game is it? Take all of this into consideration. attempt to speed it up. Take notice of the subtle waves of the water. Take this same approach with the stomach. visualize the field. Next.
Benefits This detailed step by step process provides a systematic approach to provide even beginners with a way to began actively creating through visualizing in much of the same way that many of the world’s top athletes and other prominent figures do. notice the temperature of the pool. Is your mouth dry? Do you have the taste of an energy bar in your mouth or perhaps gum. Make yourself as important and powerful as you wish. Focus especially on the senses and emotions. Focus on the feelings in the mouth to become aware of them during this process. Take time to have fun with this process vividly creating the ideal environment you wish to see. Next try to focus on taste. what your teammates are saying. or what fans are saying. anxious. What makes this system so . Create the emotion you wish to have during the event. Focus on how the sports specific clothing feels on your body. Own it. Are the shoes comfortable? What does the arena feel like? If you are playing football. Are you excited. Maybe you chew tobacco when playing baseball. Incorporate sound as well. is the stadium in door or out? Is it hot or cold? What is the weather like? Is it snowing or raining? If actualizing a basketball scenario. It is your actualization. What sounds are you hearing? Are the fans cheering or booing? Are they loud or quiet? Focus on what the coach is saying.IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION Now bring the visualization to life by including the other senses. happy. or overjoyed? Take notice of the emotions and vividly explore them. Remember this is your chance to create the world exactly how you wish so don’t leave any detail out. what is the temperature of the gym like? As a swimmer. Emotions serve as powerful fuel to give life to actualizing what we create in our mind. 6 Feel how the basketball shoes fit. Feel the heaviness of the football pads and helmet.
and emotion. all of which increase performance. motor skills. taste. positive expectation.IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION powerful is the fact that it engages every sensory aspect available to the mind to include sight. it can very well work to increase performance in other avenues of life if practiced and modified for such. Engaging in this process overtime has been known to develop confidence. and heighten mood. proficiency. sound. 7 . touch. feel. Although this particular approach is sports oriented.
Imagery for Marathoners. (2007). (2010). 8 .IMAGERY AND AROUSAL REGULATION References Weber. J.). 11(1). 97-103. McGraw-Hill. Applied sport psychology: Personal growth to peak performance (6th Ed. J. Williams. M. Marathon & Beyond.
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