CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD IMAGERY
Cautela, J. R., & Kearney, A. J. (1986). The covert conditioning handbook. New York, NY: Springer (pp. 30-31).
It should be stressed that one does not see themselves in scenes as if they were watching themselves in a movie or on a videotape, but rather, they should imagine they are actually in and experiencing the situation described.
"The term visualization, which is often used in the imagery literature, has, unfortunately, sometimes been misleading in giving the impression that only the visual modality should be used. Actually, as many additional sense modalities as are appropriate should be involved, such as hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and kinesthetic perceptions."
Applications of imagery designed to alter behavior usually involve sets of two scenes: a scene of the target behavior and a scene of the consequences of that behavior. It is important for athletes to shift quickly between the two scenes. The consequences stipulate the outcomes or goals of the behavior.
Implication. The imagery experienced has to be rich in all the senses that will be elicited in the performance. That requires an in-depth involvement in the imagery on behalf of the athlete. The second part of effective imagery is completing the total intended sequence and then imagining the consequences of the performance. Those consequences are termed "covert reinforcers."
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