Instant pre-play: 8 tips for making tactical performance imagery effective

Though common and relatively simple to learn and use, Tactical Performance Imagery can become most effective when certain approaches are utilized


Mental imagery or mental rehearsal is a widely used psychological technique to maximize performance. Almost all Olympic athletes and coaches at the U.S Olympic Training Center agreed that mental imagery enhances performance (Murphy, 2005). Mental imagery or Tactical Performance Imagery (TPI) is also one of the most used psychological performance enhancement techniques reported by police officers with about 40 percent of officers reporting their use when on duty (McDonald, 2006). Of these, TPI was used by 87 percent of the officers on the way to a call. About 75 percent of officers used performance imagery to rehearse possible responses and about 40 percent used it as a “mental checklist” for preparation readiness.

Though common and relatively simple to learn and use, Tactical Performance Imagery can become most be effective when certain approaches are utilized (Asken, 2005). Eight ways to maximize tactical performance imagery follow:

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