Pre-Competition Mental Training, Self-Efficacy and Performance in Amateur Equestrian Athletes.

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O’Callaghan, Liz
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The current study examined the effects of a mental skills training (MST) intervention involving relaxation, visualisation and goal setting on the performance and self-efficacy of equestrians. It also investigated a possible relationship between self-efficacy and performance. Participants were 14 amateur equestrians (3 M, 11 F) who all competed in two combined training competitions. The results of the study found that performance was enhanced after the intervention (t (13) = -11.16, p < .001) and self-efficacy increased (t (13) = -6.87, p < .001). No significant relationship was found between self-efficacy and performance (r (14) = .19, p = .538) which is not consistent with previous research (Moritz and Feltz, 2000). Social validation feedback indicated all participants perceived the intervention to be useful and enjoyable. The findings of the current study provide evidence to suggest MST packages are beneficial for performance and self-efficacy in equestrians. Author Keywords: Mental training, self-efficacy, sport, visualisation, equestrian.