chapter  11
20 Pages

Mental imagery practice

A sportsperson may be encouraged to see herself scoring a vital match point, or feel herself lifting a heavy weight, while a musician may be told to hear herself perform Mozart’s piano sonata in C major with perfection and ease. Such forms of encouragement are commonplace, with the individual in question being told to ‘imagine’ herself performing the task easily and accurately in order to enhance her actual performance. The idea that simply thinking about completing a task can help to enhance performance is well documented. According to Suinn (1997), the goal of such training is to enable the individual to achieve peak levels of performance by strengthening the correct physical and mental skills and providing the maximum opportunity to practise the performance. The potential benefits of such a technique may be large, given that it can be carried out virtually anywhere and needs little or no additional resources or equipment.