TASK-IMAGERY IS BETTER FOR COMPLEX ACTIVITIES
Peynircioglu, Z. F., Thompson, J. L., & Tanielian, T. B. (2000). Improvement strategies in free-throw shooting and grip-strength tasks. The Journal of General Psychology, 127, 145-156.
Ss (N = 120) performed a free-throw and a grip-strength task, before and after imagery, nonspecific arousal, or no instructions.
Imagery improved free-throw shooting (high cognitive demand) but not grip-strength. Nonspecific arousal improved grip-strength but not free-throw shooting.
Implication. Mental preparation is important for performance. High-cognitive demand tasks (involved element structures and/or sequences of movement) appear to benefit from mental imagery. Low-cognitive, high-effort tasks (e.g., simple strength activities, one gross motor skill) benefit from "psyching-up" activities. Mental preparation content should be tailored to task demands and an athlete's mental skill status.
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