Smith, D., Holmes, P., Whitemore, L., Collins, D., & Devonport, T. (2001). The effect of theoretically-based imagery scripts on field hockey performance. Journal of Sport Behavior, 24, 408-419.

Novice field hockey players (M = 7; F = 20) participated in one of two imagery groups, or a control group. One imagery group received a stimulus and response proposition-laden imagery script (environment, self-experience, and tactical content), while the other received a stimulus proposition only script (focused on the performance environment). The imagined task was a penalty flick. Imagery practice occurred three times per week for seven weeks. Controls performed no imagery or physical practice over the period of the study. Pre- and post-tests consisted of 10 penalty-flicks. The stimulus factor is similar to an external orientation of the imagery, and the response factor is similar to an internal orientation.

Scripts in the complex imagery group were particularly individual. In the simple stimulus-focused groups, scripts were very similar. The complex imagery group improved significantly more in the physical task than the stimulus-focused group, which improved significantly more than the control group.

Implication. Effective imagery of a complex task should involve both external and internal perspectives of the performance situation and activity to achieve greater beneficial effects.

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