Mental Imagery Exercise 4: Simple Drives
This is the fourth in a series of mental imagery exercises.
Ideally, you would have completed all the previous exercises before attempting this one. Not because you need to know anything from the previous ones but because it is a gradual process.
Just the same as you wouldn’t start with trying to run a marathon your first day of training. You would increase the distance slowly. It’s the same here but with a focus on details rather than distance.
Allow me to review.
Firstly, let’s quickly define what Mental Imagery is.
Mental Imagery is the action of visualizing events in your mind. The benefits include greater confidence, ability to deal with adverse situations, better control of emotions and commitment to sticking to your gameplan.
A guided exercise is where somebody, perhaps your coach, sits down with you and talks you through the event and you, the player, imagines it happening.
This is a semi-guided exercise because you will read it first and then do it on your own.
For this exercise I want you to imagine everything from the first person – that is through your own eyes.
It may sound like the science-fiction idea of learning in your sleep but it really works.
The objective of this exercise is:
1. To begin to notice the exact movements and feelings of hitting a ball.
This article is part of a series that will ultimately allow you to visualize yourself playing a tough match.
You should do this exercise at least 5 times before moving onto the next in the series.
Let’s get started. Please read the whole exercise slowly and carefully and when you are ready start begin.
This exercise actually requires you to do the real activity BEFORE you perform the mental imagery exercise. In the first three exercises we have just spent time in our club or centre surroundings. There has been some interaction with the environment but this exercise is a little different.
Firstly get on court alone. Make sure you have performed a short warm up. I want you to stand near either service box and hit about 10 drives along the wall. Don’t let the ball bounce off the back wall.
Now close your eyes and try to visualize exactly what happened in your mind. I don’t mean the ball has to bounce exactly where it did in real life, just the feeling of the swing and the sounds of the ball hitting your racket and the wall.
Repeat this process at least 5 times. Each time your mental process should be clearer and more detailed. The more you do this, the better.
Now more over to the other side of the court and do the same.
I fully understand this is a bit strange and you might get some funny looks, but be strong. This WILL make your mental imagery exercises better and therefore your improvement faster.