You Need to Do More Than Play Your Sport to Be Better at Your Sport

What Is Improv?

Improvisation is a form of performance art where two or more performers work together to create new works based on pre-existing material. These works are often improvised, meaning they were not planned beforehand and may include elements such as music, singing, dancing, acting and other forms of physical movement.

The term “improv” comes from the French word “improviser,” which means someone who plays musical instruments. Other terms used to refer to these kinds of performances include “musical theater,” “dramatic theater,” and even “theater.”

There are many different types of improvisational performances, but there are three main categories: dramatic, comedic, and musical. Dramatic improvisations typically involve characters speaking lines spoken by another character (or sometimes themselves).

Comedic improvisations usually involve characters making up their own dialogue. Musical improvisations generally involve actors playing musical instruments.

Drama Improvisation

In drama improvisation, the performer acts out a scene with no set script; instead, each actor writes down what happens during the scene and then rewrites it until everyone feels satisfied with the final product. This kind of improv is popular in theater groups in high schools and universities.

It is also popular among some local community theater groups.

There are a few different styles of drama improvisation. In the more structured version, one player begins a scene by starting a conversation with another player.

This partner then joins the conversation and says something else; this second player becomes the “provider” for the first player, who is now the “responder.” A director can be involved to select the actors for the scene and decide how the conversation will progress.

Once the providers and responders are selected, they prepare for their scene. They come up with a backstory and an outline of what they want to happen in the improv.

You Need to Do More Than Play Your Sport to Be Better at Your Sport - Image

The provider then begins the scene by starting a conversation; however, responders are encouraged to interrupt or change direction whenever they like. The provider is also allowed (and encouraged) to ask for a different response from a particular responder if they are not satisfied with the response given.

One of the major differences between drama improv and scripted acting is that performers are encouraged to make big gestures and to include their bodies in the scene, as this will help other performers to understand the emotion behind your words. For example, if someone is performing a monologue and gives a line about how their hands are trembling due to being nervous, they would actually shake their hands to show this.

Musical Improvisation

Musical improvisation is a type of improv in which the performers make up jazz music as they go along. It is most often used in small groups of only a few people, though some musical groups can consist of up to thirty performers.

Music can be improvised in a few different ways. The first and most common way is free form, where the performers make up the melody as they go along, although some performers will plan out an overall theme or style before the performance.

In the second method, a large group of performers try to collectively improvise a song together. They put their heads together and try to decide on a theme or style for the music, then each of them builds on what the others have started.

Of course, this type of music is incredibly difficult to perform and requires extensive training. This is especially true in the second style of musical improv mentioned above, as the musicians need to make sure they are all building off of each other’s themes in the right direction.

Musicians who improvise most often do so within a group that has a good understanding of one another’s strengths and preferences. It is rare for a single musician to improvise alone.

Musical improvisation can either be performed completely live or it can be recorded beforehand and then the performers can add improvised sections in certain places. This style of music is very flexible.

You Need to Do More Than Play Your Sport to Be Better at Your Sport - Picture

Theater improv, in all of its different forms, is an enjoyable activity. It can be used to create a scene for drama class or it can even be used by professional actors to warm up their skills.

It is also a lot of fun to watch! If you ever have the opportunity to see a show that was created through improv, I guarantee you’ll have a great time.

Back to the Index

Credits

The skin is based on the default skin from Wikia with various images and fonts altered. Most notably, the search bar has been altered to look more like Google’s search bar.

Wikipedia also provides some content licensing, though the site itself states that this fact should not be important if the license of the content is unknown. To be safe, assume all content on this Wikia uses the BY-NC-SA license.

I use a lot of images in my content.

Sources & references used in this article:

Sport psychology for coaches by D Burton, TD Raedeke – 2008 – books.google.com

Foundations of sport and exercise psychology by RS Weinberg, D Gould – 2014 – books.google.com

Development and preliminary validation of a scale to measure the psychological impact of returning to sport following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery by KE Webster, JA Feller, C Lambros – Physical therapy in sport, 2008 – Elsevier

‘It’s more than just performing well in your sport. It’s also about being healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually’: Indigenous women athletes’ meanings … by L Ferguson, GB Epp, K Wuttunee, M Dunn… – … Research in Sport …, 2019 – Taylor & Francis

A qualitative study of sport enjoyment in the sampling years by PJ McCarthy, MV Jones – The sport psychologist, 2007 – journals.humankinetics.com

The impact of achievement goals on cheating in sport by C Ring, M Kavussanu – Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2018 – Elsevier