Imagery Effects on the Performance of Skilled and Novice Soccer Players
Researchers at the School of Kinesiology at The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, investigated the effects of imagery on the soccer playing of both skilled and novice players. An initial assessment of performance on a specific soccer task was undertaken, and then 22 skilled and 22 novice players were randomly assigned to either a control or an experimental group.
The experimental group was given a 6-week imagery training program consisting of both visual and kinaesthetic imagery at the soccer task. The subjects attended bi-weekly sessions of approximately 15 min each. The control group developed a competitive strategy that was totally unrelated to the performance task. Similar to the experimental group, the controls did this over a 6-week period, attending bi-weekly sessions of 15 min duration. Two performance measures were recorded--response time (i.e. the time to complete the soccer task) and performance accuracy (i.e. errors in performing the soccer task recorded in the form of time penalties). Performance on the post-test as measured by response time revealed a significant improvement for both the skilled and novice players in the imagery group. The control group failed to show any such improvement. No effects were found for performance accuracy.
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