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Imagery In Sports

             A useful technique being used in sports to help athletes further enhance their skills and level of game play is imagery. Imagery, also called mental practice, is defined as using some or all of the senses to create or re-create an experience or event in the mind. The use of imagery in sports started being studied in the 1960's and is still being researched by psychologists today. All psychologists researching this topic basically use the same method in their study. You have a group that practices just imagery, another that practices just physically, and then a third that does both. This method always has proved that imagery does improve an athletes game, however physical practice of skills is still more beneficial. But the group that always does the best is the one that uses both techniques in practicing. Also, tests have shown that the more experienced the athlete, the more they benefit from imagery. Little is known of how and why imagery works to improve skills. There are three main ideas proposed on how and why imagery works, none of them being proved better than the other yet. Whether we know how it works or not, one thing psychologists have proved is that using imagery in sports, when used the right way, really does significantly improve an athletes game, with some exceptions to people who just don't work well using imagery. Many famous athletes including Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, and Mike Piazza have all used mental imagery techniques throughout their careers to improve their game. Imagery is not just used by these professionals, it is starting to be used more and more on the college and even high school level. .
             As stated before, imagery is when a person uses the senses to create an event in their mind. Which senses being used all depends on the person and what they are trying to accomplish with the use of imagery. Sometimes just one sense is used and sometimes all of them can be used.

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