SPORT IMAGERY IS A MENTAL SKILL
Saarmann, I. P. (July 2002). Effects of an abbreviated mental skills training program on imagery in track and field. Unpublished master degree thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, California.
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the impact and retention of an abbreviated mental skills training program on imagery ability across participants within the sport of track and field. The direct effect of a mental skills training program on producing measurable change in imagery ability, without measuring other effects, was assessed. A multiple baseline design segmented into three phases was implemented for the study. Each study phase for each participant was initiated by the administration of the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-Revised test (MIQ-R). The intervention phase for each participant consisted of the completion of adaptations of imagery exercises 5.1-5.3 from the Mental Skills Training for Sports manual. Upon completion of training, the participant retook the MIQ-R to assess if a change in imagery ability had occurred according to the set criterion. The retention phase for each participant consisted of retaking the MIQ-R to assess the retention of learned imagery skills.
All three participants improved in imagery ability after the intervention. The two participants for whom retention data were gathered demonstrated retention of improvements. Suggestions for future research were offered. The imagery procedures followed in this investigation were recommended for use in applied and research settings.
Implication. Individuals with poor imaging ability can be taught to improve that ability with appropriate mental skills training exercises. This suggests that no athletes should be deprived of using imagery as a valuable adjunct to performance enhancement.
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