Thomas, P. R., & Fogarty, G. J. (1997). Psychological skills training in golf: The role of individual differences in cognitive preferences. Sport Psychologist, 11, 86-106.

Individual differences in cognitive preferences of amateur golfers were analyzed by assessing the effects of imagery and self-talk training on psychological skills and performance levels.

Amateur golfers (N = 32; 29-59 yrs) participated in a series of four counterbalanced training workshops conducted over two months at two golf clubs. The Golf Performance Survey (GPS) and the Sports Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ) were completed.

Five psychological and psychomotor skills of the GPS (negative emotions and cognitions, mental preparation, automaticity, putting skill, and seeking improvement) improved significantly. Ss' responses to the SIQ and ratings of their imagery and self-talk techniques increased, handicaps were lowered, and they performed better on a Golf Skills Test after training.

Implication. A combined package of imagery and self-talk training improved both golf performance and psychological factors surrounding participation in the sport. Attending to mental skills training of this type is an essential part of coaching sports which require a high degree of consistent skill and considerable attentional focus.

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