Can imagery improve the performance of a physical activity : the importance of imagery content

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Kenny, Damien
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of mental imagery on a sixty meter sprint physical activity and to examine the effect of imagery function (cognitive-specific versus motivational general) on performance outcomes. Sixty eight young adult male participants were recorded individually on the time it took to complete the sprint prior to and after receiving one of two different audio imagery interventions designed to vary imagery function. A 3 x 2 mixed factorial ANOVA revealed a significant reduction in mean sprint time for the group receiving the motivational imagery intervention from baseline to post-intervention, however groups did not differ significantly in mean post-intervention sprint times. Results provide tentative support for the efficacy of motivational imagery compared with basic mental practice techniques for improving performance of a simple predominantly physical task such as sprinting.