MENTAL REHEARSAL AND IMAGERY
Biddle, S. H. (1985). Mental preparation, mental practice and strength tasks: A need for clarification. Journal of Sports Sciences, 3, 67-74.
"The differing conclusions presented in the psych-up and mental practice literature suggest that a distinction between mental preparation and mental practice is both necessary and logical." (p. 70).
On the weakness of mental rehearsal with strength events as reported by Feltz and Landers (1983):
"The relatively low effect sizes reported for strength tasks by Feltz and Landers (1983) could be the result of Ss being asked to use a symbolic type of mental rehearsal rather than preparatory arousal strategies." (p. 70; see reference to Wilkes and Summers, 1984)
"Many mental practice studies employ imagery over a less immediate time period and emphasize skill learning. One possible distinction between preparation and practice, therefore, could relate to performance and learning. Similarly, mental practice is used to reinforce learned movements and to establish movement coordination and sequencing. Mental preparation would appear to relate more to the establishment of a 'mental set' allied to immediate performance enhancement. . . . Psyching-up appears to be a more immediate and intense cognitive strategy than mental practice thus requiring less time to be effective." (p. 71)
Implication. "Psyching-up" is not only mental. It needs to incorporate other physical (e.g., "pumping-up", increasing activity vigor, specificity of the activity) and mental (e.g., self-efficacy, emotional imagery, isolation, focusing) concepts. Imagery is only one part of psyching-up although many sport psychologists seem to think that is all that is needed.
[ Feltz, D. L., & Landers, D. M. (1983). The effects of mental practice on motor skill learning and performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Sport Psychology, 5, 25-57.
Wilkes, R. L., & Summers, J. J. (1984). Cognitions, mediating variables and strength performance. Journal of Sport Psychology, 6, 351-359.]
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