Title: Mental skills training - much ado about nothing? : an experimental study on imagery and self-talk
Authors : Gisler, Sarah
Rauch, Jan
Conference details: 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology, Bern, 14-19 July 2015
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2015
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Mental skills training; Imagery; Self-talk; Performance
Subject (DDC) : 150: Psychology
700: The arts and entertainment
Abstract: Mental skills training is widely used in sport psychology and shows positive effects on sport performance (e.g., Driskell, Copper & Moran, 1994). Over the last 30 years, a substantial amount of research on mental skills training has been conducted (Schuster et al., 2011). For instance, the content of self-talk during sport activities affects performance (Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos, Galanis & Theodorakis, 2011). Despite much research on imagery perspective, results remain inconsistent (e.g., Morris, Spittle & Watts, 2005). The present experimental study focuses on visual imagery and self-talk. We examined the influence of visual imagery and self-talk on the performance of a golf putting task. Participants (N = 99) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups, each including 33 participants: (a) an imagery group, (b) a self-talk group, and (c) a control group. Each participant performed 10 golf putts on an indoor putting mat. Task was to put the golf balls as accurately as possible to a target. Participants in the 2 experimental groups received a brief (30 s) and group-specific instruction. The 2 instructions were standardized and verbally provided: In the imagery group, participants were instructed to visualize a goal-oriented imagery before each stroke. Participants in the self-talk group were instructed to vocalize a goal-oriented self-talk before each stroke. No specific instruction was assigned to the control group. Additionally, participants had to report their general level of experience in ball sport (no, middle or much experience). Overall, performance did not differ between the 3 groups. Results also showed that participants reporting a higher level of ball sport experience performed better than other participants. We conclude that a brief imagery instruction or rather a brief self-talk instruction does not lead to a better performance in a golf putting task, but even seems to hamper the performance.
Departement: Applied Psychology
Organisational Unit: Institute of Applied Psychology (IAP)
Publication type: Conference Poster
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/13723
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Angewandte Psychologie

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