Utilizing Imagery to Enhance Injury Rehabilitation

Author: Marty Durden

Marty Durden, Ed. D., United States Sports Academy
M. Ed., Troy University

Athletic Director
Presbyterian School
5300 Main Street
Houston, TX
mdurden@pshouston.org
(706) 681-5904

Marty Durden is the Director of Athletics and Director of the Presbyterian Outdoor Education Center in Houston, TX. He serves as adjunct professor in Sports Management for Concordia University, Austin TX. He also serves as adjunct professor in Educational Leadership at Bellhaven University in Jackson, MS.

UTILIZING IMAGERY TO ENHANCE INJURY REHABILITATION

ABSTRACT
Recovering from injury is an unfortunate byproduct of athletic participation. The rehabilitation process can be an arduous experience full of discouragement. The athlete who approaches rehab with a positive attitude and a goal-oriented plan can turn the tough task of recovery into an affirmative experience. Therapy can result in the athlete being better prepared for future obstacles and in a better position to succeed. The athlete who takes charge of the rehabilitation process in a proactive manner has an improved chance to overcome the debilitating effects of injury.

A proven method that enhances the rehabilitation process is the utilization of mental imagery. Wise use of imagery techniques streamlines the recovery period and minimizes the psychological damage to the athlete. Imagery allows the athlete to participate actively in the progression and assume ownership for recovery. Utilizing imagery techniques allows a locus of control that lends hope for a timely return to competition. Visual imagery allows the athlete to see the movements that lead to restoration. Emotive imagery allows the athlete to see the possibilities that lead to recuperation. Healing imagery allows the athlete to sense and see the transformational process of recovery as the body responds via the natural effects of the healing. Utilization of imagery allows the athlete to be stronger than before, armed with a positive self-image, and satisfied with the efforts that brought them through this tough struggle.

Continue reading

The Kinematics of the Return of Serve in Tennis: The Role of Anticipatory Information

Abstract

Visual anticipatory information from early periods of ball flight is thought necessary to intercept the ball in many sports. This study analyzed the temporal characteristics of returning a tennis serve by manipulating the amount of visual information available to the receiver. The movements of tennis players receiving ‘serves’ were measured on court. Participants received serves when playing against a ball machine or an actual server during full vision conditions and also during partial vision occlusion (i.e., early ball flight, second third, last third of ball projection). We measured the moment of the receiver’s movement initiation; the back swing duration; and the forward swing duration. There were no consistent differences in these movement characteristics between the ball machine and the server up to the projection speed of 125 km.hr-1. There were differences in the duration of the forward swing during the partial vision conditions. Initiation of the forward swing occurred earlier and the swing duration was increased when the first third of ball flight was occluded. Important anticipatory information about when to initiate the forward swing is present during the first third of ball flight. When receiving moderately fast serves up to 125 km.hr-1, the receiver does not appear to use information from the server’s action to modify the timing of their response.

Continue reading