You can significantly improve the quality of your training sessions by effective use of imagery. By performing the skill being practiced in your mind before you execute it, you can focus on all the important parts of the skill. For example, if a golfer images a perfect golf swing before he actually carries one out, he is more likely to remember all the points that go into making a good swing, and maintain focus throughout it.
Imaging of an activity before its execution has the following advantages:
In addition imagery can be used in training to practise sports psychology skills.
For example, you might imagine appearing before a large hostile crowd, and experience the stress and anxiety symptoms that you might expect. Within your mind you can practise the stress management skills that will be explained later.
You might use imagery to practise pushing through pain barriers, or might practise keeping technique good when you imagine that your limbs feel exhausted.
Alternatively you might use imagery to rehearse and perfect strategies that will be used during a real performance.