We are in an educational era, where the sports psychology techniques, normally reserved only for the top athletes and champions in sports, are now available for children. Research has confirmed that motor imagery, or visualization, along with action observation is an effective strategy to train athletes and now children, in different skills. The PETTLEP model of motor imagery is an acronym for Physical, Environment, Task, Timing, Learning, Emotion, and Perspective. PETTLEP is a visualization model formed on the basis of findings from neuroscience, sports psychology, and cognitive psychology. It is proven, and according to this model, visualizations are more effective when they are closely related to physical practice. The model provides a set of practical guidelines which help practitioners in using visualization to enhance motor skills. Children with different motor abilities can utilize similar visualizations to enhance imitation, promote sports training, and for movement therapy.
Importance of Visualizations in Children’s Education
Visualizations are also useful for children with movement difficulties such as Developmental Condition Disorder (DCD). According to the components, visualizations should be conducted with children according to their age and abilities. The application of these visualizations ranges from a session with a sports psychologist to self-help books that boost the confidence and self-esteem of the child in performing motor tasks.
These methods are now being introduced into children’s literature. Of the various analyzed children’s books representing the subject, the most notable, Good Luck is My Guardian Angel by Erik Perezbrain, has set forth a new motion in children’s literature where these visualizations are the prominent lessons being taught.
Visualizations are effective for enhancing motor skills performance in children. Good Luck in My Guardian Angel is an accurate representation of how children can enhance their motor skills and sports performance by practicing motor imagery. This book will teach young readers to engage their sensory modalities to imagine a challenging task and focus on details while executing the task in their imagination. This not only boosts the self-esteem and confidence of children but also increases the chances for children to succeed at performing motor skills after practicing visualizations.
While sports psychology practitioners play an important role in facilitating the application of these visualizations to high level athletes, these services can be very expensive. On the other hand, self-help books like Good Luck is My Guardian Angel encourage children to enhance their motor performance without any external involvement and are readily available to educators. This new literature will assist in creating a better learning environment for the children who are exposed to these ideas.
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