Lejeune, M., & Decker, C. (1994). Mental rehearsal in table tennis performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 79, 627-641.

Novice table tennis players (N = 40) performed counterattack forehand and backhand shots. Four groups were formed: control (no practice), physical practice, physical practice + observational learning, and physical practice + observational learning + mental practice. Observational learning (a stimulus condition) involved watching an 8-min instructional film about the two skills. Ss received one practice session involving the experiences associated with their group. Assessments were performed on another day after the practice session.

The performance of the control group did not change during the experiment. Performance between the sessions improved only in the physical + observational + imagery group.

Implication. The use of mental imagery in instruction is associated with performance improvement. The combination of physical and mental practice accelerates skill acquisition.

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