What To Do If Your Imagery Isn’t Working

When Imagery is the Problem – or it doesn’t seem to be working…

Let’s say you have tight, painful, tense shoulders.

Am I preaching to the choir yet? Hello, western world.

And you have the idea or image in your mind that you should keep your shoulders squarely pulled down and back, like what you imagine ‘good’ posture to be, or you heard your trainer or coach tell you this, so you do it.

You catch yourself many times each day, and pull your shoulders back squarely.

But what if the very image you’re using to help you is creating the problem?

Without getting into too much of the mechanics, please know that shoulders are designed to move.

Even when we’re sitting still, the shoulders ideally move with each breath we take. Putting a static image into our minds (pull shoulders down and back) for an incredibly dynamic event (running) will only cause issues in the long run. {Did you catch that pun?}

When we run, our shoulder blades must be free to move around our ribcage, otherwise our upper back, lower back, and breathing will feel restricted and tight.

Sound familiar?

If we want to perform better, we need to learn how to move better.

Imagery must agree with our anatomy and the physics of running – otherwise, it’s problematic. Injurious, even.

As runners, it certainly helps if we get schooled in biomechanics. Not that we need a PhD in Running, but we need to understand the basic truths about gravity, joint function, and momentum.

I’ve done a lot of that work for you, in creating the online program, Runner’s Tune Up.

The runners I coach gain key insights into how their body works – in essence, they are continually upgrading the images or pictures in their minds about what their body can do, how it’s done, and how to influence their own performance in seconds through imagery skills.

Runner’s Tune Up participants learn how to ‘fix’ what they feel.

Ask these questions to improve HOW you use imagery:

Does this image reflect what I desire to experience?

Can I connect with the image – do I like this metaphor?

How vivid and detailed can I get with my experience?

Does this image fit with anatomical design and truth?

Does this image work right now, for this context?

Bottom line, if an image works for you – use it. If not, try a new strategy or reach out to me for support.

Comment below with imagery you use and what kind of change you’re looking for in how your run feels. 

And if the topic of shoulder tension speaks right to you – know that we address that common issue and so much more in our full online program, Runners Tune Up.

Talk to you soon!

Cheri

PS: To learn more about The Science of Mental Imagery, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *