IMAGING SHORT DURATION MAXIMUM EFFORT ACTIVITIES WORKS
Mann, D. Y. (October, 2001). Imagery effectiveness across sports. Unpublished master degree thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, California.
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effects on sprint performance of an imagery protocol used as a pre-performance routine by an intercollegiate varsity swimmer, a junior-level ice-hockey player, and an intercollegiate varsity baseball player. The performance task was four repetitions of a maximal effort sprint related to each subject's sport.
Subjects were required to complete a standardized warm-up before daily testing. Four maximal effort sprint tasks were executed each day with a scheduled three-minute thirty-second rest interval between each performance trial. Baseline data were collected until stability was demonstrated. The experimental phase was initiated by the development of an imagery routine for each subject. The routine was to be rehearsed as often as could be accommodated within the last 30 seconds before two trials each day.
A replicated, balanced, alternating treatments design across subjects and sport settings was used to assess experimental control. Each experimental day consisted of two physical trials immediately preceded by the imagery routine and two trials without imagery. The order of trials was randomly balanced according to a Latin-squares protocol for up to a maximum of six days.
Two (swimming and baseball) of the three subjects demonstrated experimental control during the intervention. The ice-hockey player failed to exhibit experimental control over six days. It was reported that the ice-hockey player had difficulty imaging, which suggested that imagery ability might be a mediating variable that governs the effectiveness of imagery procedures.
Suggestions for future research were offered. General support for using the imagery procedures followed in this investigation was advocated.
Implication. Pre-performance imagery enhances performance in short-duration maximum performances (sprints). The ability to act with appropriate imagery appears to be a modifying variable.
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