Howe, B. L. (1991). Imagery and sport performance. Sports Medicine, 11, 1-5.

This article reviews imagery research and general postulations. It is incisive about the standard of research which often leaves much to be desired. Consequently, many weak studies have produced conflicting results for almost all areas of postulation.

However, the article itself is confounded for it mixes practice/learning concepts with performance-enhancement concepts and fails to mention the differentiation. This is yet another example of the confusion that exists in this field. It typifies many pronouncements about imagery that assume there is only one form of imagery and its underlying parameters are appropriate for all physical activity settings.

Implications. Generalizations were as follows.

  1. Imagery is more effective if it is multisensory (internal) than visual (external).
  2. Imagery is more effective for more experienced athletes.
  3. Imagery is more effective for those who consider themselves to be effective imagers.
  4. Imagery should be more effective for closed than open skills.
  5. Imagery is more effective when in combination with physical practice.
  6. Imagery is effective for individuals of different ages.
  7. Imagery is more effective if practice sessions are at least 1 minute and not longer than 5 minutes in duration.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.