Rushall, B. S. (1988). Covert modeling as a procedure for altering an elite athlete's psychological state. The Sport Psychologist, 2, 131-140.

Covert modeling was employed in an attempt to alter a problematic loss of confidence in an elite wrestler. Traditional steps of the procedure were modified to accommodate S and the situation. The then world-champion was determined to be the phobic stimulus. The subject could not imagine himself performing successfully against the champion.

The covert model at first incorporated the champion and a fictional model. After the determination of detailed appropriate behaviors for a high level wrestling performance, S modeled the occurrence. After familiarity with the procedure had been established, S was gradually substituted for the fictional character. S reported practicing modeling outside of consultation sessions and claimed successful imagery after he had substituted himself in the imagined situations.

The procedure was considered to be successful by S and his coach. Performances were markedly improved after the intervention. Covert modeling was proposed as being a viable method for eliminating fear, a loss of confidence, and negative self-appraisals in athletes.

Implication. Covert modeling can be used to alter confidence levels.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.