ONE TIME WHEN RELAXATION AFFECTS PERFORMANCE BETTER THAN IMAGERY
Lamirand, M., & Rainey, D. (1994). Mental imagery, relaxation, and accuracy of basketball foul shooting. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 1229-1230.
Female college basketball players (N = 18) were pretested on foul shooting and assigned to a relaxation or mental imagery training group. After four training sessions, for a total of only 20 minutes, over three weeks, retesting occurred.
The imagery group did not improve but the relaxation group was marginally superior at posttest.
It is possible that this investigation provided too little training for any learning to occur about effective imagery. That the imagery group regressed slightly while the relaxation group improved, is contrary to the preponderance of evidence of investigations concerning this topic.
Implication. This one time when relaxation training produces better performances than imagery training should be interpreted with caution.
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