Lerner, B, S., Ostrow, A. C., Yura, M. T., & Etzel, E. F. (1996). The effects of goal-setting and imagery training programs on the free-throw performance of female collegiate basketball players. Sport Psychologist, 10, 382-397.

The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of goal-setting and imagery programs, as well as a combined goal-setting and imagery training program, on the free-throw performance among female collegiate basketball players over the course of an entire season.

A multiple-baseline, A-B-A design was employed in which participants were randomly assigned to one of three interventions: (a) goal-setting (N = 4), (b) imagery (N = 4), or (c) goal-setting and imagery (N = 4). Ss were the women's basketball team from a small Division III college. Free-throw data were collected during practice sessions. Data were examined by way of changes in mean, level, trend, latency, and variability between baseline and intervention, and then between intervention and a second baseline phase.

  1. Goal-setting increased basketball free-throw performance in three of four Ss.
  2. Goal-setting and imagery instruction improved performance in two Ss.
  3. Imagery instruction did not change performance in three of four Ss or decreased performance in the other.

Implication. Imagery training may not be beneficial for athletes who are well-practiced in a specific skill such as free-throw shooting.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.