IMAGERY NOT A CONSISTENT FEATURE OF GYMNASTICS TRAINING
Di Cagno, A., Battaglia, C., Baldari, C., & Guidetti, L. (2007). Mental training in rhythmic gymnasts: Actual training habits and effectiveness of practice on technical learning. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number 1459.
Elite gymnasts (N = 68) and coaches (N = 88) were interviewed to determine if mental imagery training was included in their technical training program. The relationship between physical training and mental training time was determined. A pilot study was conducted with eight gymnasts out of the original 68. Ss were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. The experimental group practiced twice a week employing the Frester mental training protocol, in addition to their usual training, for a period of three months. The control group performed their normal training for the same time. The performance of throwing and catching a hoop during a technical movement was assessed over 18 trials.
Mental training was used by high-level gymnasts (67%) of the time. All foreign gymnasts and international level coaches interviewed used mental training every week, whereas only 33% of Italian national level Ss employed mental training in their preparation plan. Mental training time was significantly correlated to overall training time (r = 0.254)
Implication. The use of imagery in gymnastic training is not an entrenched training activity.
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