Team Action Imagery and Team Cognition: Imagery of Game Situations and Required Team Actions Promotes a Functional Structure in Players’ Representations of Team-Level Tactics

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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A team’s cognitions of interpersonally coordinated actions are a crucial component for successful team performance. Here, we present an approach to practice team action by way of imagery and examine its impact on team cognitions in long-term memory. We investigated the impact of a 4-week team action imagery intervention on futsal players’ mental representations of team-level tactics. Skilled futsal players were assigned to either an imagery training group or a no imagery training control group. Participants in the imagery training group practiced four team-level tactics by imagining team actions in specific game situations for three times a week. Results revealed that the imagery training group’s representations were more similar to that of an expert representation after the intervention compared with the control group. This study indicates that team action imagery training can have a significant impact on players’ tactical skill representations and thus order formation in long-term memory.

Frank, Linstromberg, and Schack are with the Neurocognition and Action—Biomechanics Research Group, Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany. Frank and Schack are also with the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC), Bielefeld University. Hennig is with the Inst of Sports Science, University of Hildesheim, Hildesheim, Germany. Heinen is with the Faculty of Sport Science, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Frank (cornelia.frank@uni-bielefeld.de) is corresponding author.
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