🎬 Mental rehearsal 🎬
Mental rehearsal is the ability to practise a process or activity in our minds. It’s a great way to strengthen or improve our behavioural performance – race day, job interview, asking the girl out on a date – anything!
It’s great way to:
✅ control nerves
✅ learn from a previous performance
✅ increase energy, motivation and confidence
✅ practise skills
✅ Deal with negative memories
🚴🏽♂️ Sporting champions have usually won competitions many times in their heads before an event even starts. They have seen themselves doing what they need to do to win, they’ve heard the sounds involved in the process and felt all the feelings concerned so that by the time the event comes around they are confident of success.
⛷ Research has shown that when we mentally rehearse a skill we actually fire off the same neurology as if we were actually carrying out the experience. At Colorado State University, Olympic athletes used a method called visio-motor behaviour rehearsal (VMBR). Athletes had electromyographic reading on the legs of skiers who were imagining performing a downhill race. What the researchers found was that the electronic patterns in the muscles were the same as those that would have resulted if they were actually skiing.
So as well as helping confidence and belief, mental rehearsal is also able to create neurophysiological blueprints for your sport performance .
- ➡️ HOW TO DO IT
Mental rehearsal involves using internal representations – through pictures, sounds and feelings. You will probably find you prefer one of these systems more than the others but the more you can engage all systems the more effective the rehearsal will be. (If you need help developing your visual, auditory or kinaesthetic (feeling) systems message me and I’ll send you some tips).
- Watch or think of a sportsperson who performs a particular skill well who you would like to model.
- Take some time to get relaxed. It’s more effective when you are relaxed. Remember you are creating a blueprint for your muscles so if you are tense when you rehearse it that tension will be part of the skill 😱. Relaxation also enables the brain to work in ‘alpha wave’ state when it is more receptive to suggestion (if you need help with relaxation skills message me).
- Close your eyes and imagine the person with the skill you want to acquire. Get an impression of their body language, where their focus is, the ease of their performance, the skill, the tempo. Notice any sounds that are important. Imagine them performing it several times.
- Now imagine putting your own head on the body of that person. Watch yourself performing the skill with the same body language, ease and tempo.
- Now imagine the same thing with your own body. Do it several times util you are happy that it looks good, sounds and feels good to you.
- Now ‘associate’ into the body and see and hear it as if you are experiencing it in the moment. You can feel the feelings of performing the skill. Enjoy the difference in how your body feels now how you feel at ease performing the skill, feel the temp and notice how good it makes you feel.
👉🏼👉🏼👉🏼 KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER
To get the greatest benefit from mental rehearsal follow these principles:
- ➡️ Start from your outcome. Imagine the time when you achieve the results. Notice all the details so you can be sure of what you need to do.
- ➡️ Focus on the process not the results. See, feel, hear how you achieve the outcome rather than rehearsing the result. The outcome should be the last step of the rehearsal and should come about naturally as a result of following the process.
- ➡️ Be specific. Get into the detail; set the scene; imagine who will be there, what you are wearing, what equipment you will have, everything!
- ➡️ Make it exactly what you want. Whatever you see, feel and hear is the outcome you will get so if what you are experiencing isn’t exactly what you want, change it until it is.
- ➡️ Use all the senses. The more multi-sensory your rehearsal is the more it is going to imprint in your mind. Make the images vivid, the sounds clear and the feeling strong. Bring in taste and smell if you can!
- ➡️ Relax (see point 2 above)
- ➡️ Practise! Mental rehearsal is a skill so the more you use it the better you will get and the more likely you are to achieve the outcomes you desire.
Go ahead and practise mental rehearsal with something this week. Let me know how it goes. 😊
Any questions, just ask!