Shambrook, C. J., & Bull, S. J. (1996). The use of single-case research design to investigate the efficacy of imagery training. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 8, 27-43.

The examination of the effectiveness of imagery training has frequently produced contradictory results. Single-case research designs have been proposed as potentially useful in overcoming the problem of conflicting results. This paper reports the findings of a multiple-baseline design across 4 female basketball players examining the impact of imagery training on free-throw performance.

Mental diaries were used as a manipulation check, and after completion of the experimental period each S completed a social validation questionnaire.

Questionnaire results showed a positive acceptance of the imagery training routine, and the diaries showed regular training had been completed. Only one S demonstrated a consistent improvement after beginning the imagery training. The results support the usefulness of single-case research designs for examining individual differences to sport psychology interventions.

Implication. Not every athlete will respond with obvious performance changes when "mental imagery" is used. There are several reasons for this and they need to be considered before implementing an imagery training program.

If these considerations are not taken into account, an imagery-training program will not necessarily be successful.

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