As mentioned last time, imagery is a very useful and beneficial mental training technique for many different reasons. It can be used as additional off-court training for various performance areas, such as skills development, rehearsal, and mastering; tactical rehearsal & positioning; game management; problem-solving; recovery after injury, and many others. Whether you are a player, referee, or coach imagery can help you with your performance.


“Imagery is a unique and useful technique. It allows you
to be a writer, a producer, a director, and in most cases the lead actor of a play.”



There are many different scenarios that can be used in visualisation depending on what you want to rehears or improve. It is important that your imagery is vivid, clear, and controllable. When you are imagining specific situation scenarios it should be also detailed as much as it can.

For example, using imagery as a problem-solving technique helps you anticipate potential problems (e.g. distractions, negative emotions, possible mistakes, etc.) and refocus to solutions and next actions important for performance. You can use solution-mode scenarios for some specific situations you usually have problems with (i.e., emotional reactions & misbehaviour, losing concentration after the first mistake, or communication issues).

Imagery with the positive and solution mode scenario cannot guarantee a good result but it makes it more likely. You will probably feel more controllable over some situations if you practice them visually and later apply them in a real on-court situation.




  • Find yourself in a quiet and private place with no distractions.
  • Start your imagery exercise with aa breathing rhythm that is most comfortable for you. After you manage to direct your attention to breathing prepare yourself for the next move – imagining a scenario of a situation that usually gives you trouble.
  • Visualise and experience the situation you usually have problems with and all the issues behind it – your thoughts about it, your reactions, and your behaviour in that specific situation.
  • Then think about the best possible solution for that situation and try to imagine doing it like that. See, hear, and feel your proper response to this situation – the way you think, respond and behave.
  • Repeat it 2-3 times and always try to retain the image of what you want to do.




  • Find yourself in a quiet and private place with no distractions.
  • Start your imagery exercise with a breathing rhythm that is most comfortable for you. Concentrate on controlling your breathing and repeat it several times until you become ready to start the imagery.
  • Mentally rehearse a play or action you want to execute. First, do it in slow-motion and then gradually faster it to the real-time speed. Execute every movement and decision successfully, as you are doing it on the court. Fully anticipate what is going on during the whole action and how you are able to control your movements and performance.
  • Then practice the same action under various imagined circumstances (that might happen on the court) to ensure that you have mastered it to apply it appropriately next time during the practice or during the game.
  • Focus on making sure that your movements are fluid and lead you to the desired outcome. Remember, a scenario of the outcome is controllable by you.


“I am a big believer in visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel even more prepared.”
– Allyson Felix –



After the game search through video for the situations that you would like to analyse and rehearse.

A. Search for 2-3 great situations – where you were at your best and made a very good decision.

  • See what did you do good and what was your decision or move.
  • Understand why this was a good performance and what is the reason behind it.
  • Repeat the same situation once more visually (executing it correctly) to store it in your memory.


B. Search for the 2-3 situations you are not satisfied with – with a bad decision or movement.

  • See and understand why your performance was poor, what did you do wrong – what is the reason behind it.
  • Search for the solution for the same situation – what will you now do if this or a similar situation happens again? What you should do differently to make it successful. Be specific and affirmative in what should you do correctly!
  • Change the script of that situation so that the outcome is better – seeing clearly how it is supposed to be.
  • Repeat that solution and desired outcome visually through imagery scenario, first from an external point of view – to see how this should look like if you watch it on the TV. Then, repeat it through an internal point of view – like you are doing it in the real situation.
  • Continue rehearsing this new outcome until you feel confident to apply it the first time at practice and then at the game.

These are just a few examples of visualisation and imagery scripts that you may find useful for your performance. There are many others you can find in the literature or even create by yourself – depending on the area you want to rehears and improve.

I hope these two articles about visualisation and imagery benefits give you some useful information and tools to apply them as a part of mental training for your performance improvement.

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