Hamilton, S. A., & Fremouw, W. J. (1985). Cognitive-behavioral training for college basketball free-throw performance. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 9, 479-483.

A cognitive-behavioral training program was evaluated for its effect on free-throw performance in three male Division-II college basketball players.

Training consisted of a maximum of seven hours of meetings during the first two weeks and for less than an hour over the remainder of the experimental period. A multiple-baseline design was used to assess the independence of treatment effects. Training consisted of deep muscle relaxation, identification of negative self-statements, development of positive statements, and imagery rehearsal during team practice. Cognitive changes were measured by having Ss restructure thoughts while watching video tapes (positive, negative, and interfering thoughts were assessed). These were evaluated before and four weeks after the commencement of mental skills training. Practice throws at the end of practice and game statistics were the performance data.

Positive thoughts improved greatly to overwhelmingly replace negative and interfering thoughts as the dominant cognitive content. Game free-throws improved for S1 (36-68%), S2 (37.5-67%), and S3 (50-75%); average improvement was 72.5%.

Implication. Positive thought content, imagery, and a focus on improving a poor game skill resulted in improved game performances.

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