Rushall, B. S. (1970). Some applications of psychology to swimming. Swimming Technique, 7, 71-82.

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of practice unit rehearsal on swimming training performances. Four repetitions of a maximum performance 50 yd butterfly swim on a three minute interval were timed at six successive training sessions. A balanced experimental design using two no-rehearsal and two rehearsal trials was employed.

Thirty seconds before a rehearsal trial S rehearsed the 50 yd swim thinking of its component parts; the dive, first few strokes, settling into a rhythm, the turn, clear thinking as fatigue set in, points of technique under stress, and a hard finish. The rehearsal was to be completed while looking at the part of the pool in which it would occur from behind the block. The time of the rehearsal was to be as close as could be judged by S to the time that would be swum.

Both rehearsal trials were better performances than the non-rehearsed trials. Generally, the second rehearsed trial was better than the first although not statistically better.

Implication. Mental rehearsal of each trial of a repetitious practice task improves the quality of that task. However, the nature of the rehearsal has to be a detailed and learned response in which the S is totally involved in a controlled and vivid manner.

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