Athletes need to learn imagery as a skill. It helps them to be able to see and imagine their best performances.
Imagery involves the multi-sensory reproduction of the actual sports experience. When correctly applied the athlete can experience sensations, emotions and thoughts he or she could experience while in competition.
That is, imagery involves imagining yourself performing the actual sports act and visualizing the actual environmental situation.
Dream incubation can be a very beneficial extension of daily imagery. To effect dream incubation before sleeping and athlete focuses attention on a given sports performance. When doing that the athlete can self-teach via dreaming of the performance.
When adept at dream incubation lucid dreams become your platform to experiment and do things that would be unlikely in a waking reality. It becomes a great place to test tactics, strategies and solve problems.
Lucid dreaming requires practice. It helps to make your bedroom comfortable, dark, cool, and quiet. We dream during REM sleep stage. So, to enjoy dreams we must have restful sleep and experience as much REM as possible. Keeping a dream journal is very important because it helps us to remember our dreams. It also helps us in recognizing patterns and themes in our dreams. In addition, you should learn how to perform reality checks to train your brain to recognize whether you are dreaming or awake. This can be done by looking at your hands and feet very closely. They tend to be distorted in dreams.
You can also look at a clock quickly and then look at it again for a second time. In a dream, the time would likely change. Also, you can use the Mnemonic Induction to Lucid Dreaming (MILD) technique that simply involves repeating phrases like “I will know that I am dreaming” in your mind until you fall asleep. There are many more techniques to keep the dream going when you wake up from the dream or even set your alarm clock to wake you up in the middle of REM sleep and then get back to sleep. Interestingly, video gaming has been shown to improve ability to remember dreams and have lucid dreams.
For dream incubation first choose the topic or act you want to develop, perhaps writing a script then reading in will help. Then be sure to include the specific reason you want to incubate the act or topic. Be sure to include images and feelings, elements that will encourage dreaming about them.
Using your sports equipment as a dream aid can be helpful, too. Placing your glove or ball or uniform near your bed can have an influence on your dreams.
However, the most important part is to write down your dreams immediately when you wake up. Include all details such as colors and textures. Be persistent and keep practicing and you will get better at it. Sometimes attending dream groups can help. In these groups, you simply share and discuss your dreams in great detail, analyzing them and learning from them.