The use of mental imagery techniques to improve free kick accuracy in GAA footballers
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The Irish Psychologist
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Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether mental imagery would improve free-kick accuracy among a sample of GAA football players. The study also investigated the impact of performance on player’s self-efficacy and sport competition anxiety. Method: Twenty three adult club-level players were recruited for the study. Players were randomly assigned to either the mental imagery (n = 10) or control (n = 13) condition. The mental imagery exercises took place over a two week period. Free kick, self-efficacy, and sport competition anxiety scores were measured pre and post intervention. Results: Analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant increase in free kick accuracy in the imagery condition, with no differences observed in the control condition. No significant differences were found with regard to self-efficacy or sport competition anxiety. Conclusion: The data support the effectiveness of mental imagery techniques as a tool to improve free kick accuracy. Author keywords: GAA football, imagery, free-kick accuracy, sports psychology