The use of mental imagery techniques to improve free kick accuracy in GAA footballers

No Thumbnail Available
Hyland, John
Shanahan, Richard
Issue Date
The Irish Psychologist
Items in Esource are protected by copyright. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/copyright holder.
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