The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the effectiveness of different types of mental intervention procedures on karate performance. Subjects were 43 male volunteer students enrolled in self-defense classes at a university. They were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: individualized, nonindividualized, package, placebo control, and control. Karate performance evaluations (i.e., skill, combinations, sparring) were administered during the 5th (baseline), 10th, and 15th weeks of classes. All experimental groups received handouts, mini-strategies, manipulation checks, and interviews to aid them in their practice and training of their mental strategies. Thus, over the 10-week period, subjects spent a minimum of 17 hours practicing their cognitive strategies. Data were analyzed by a series of 5 x 2 (treatment X trials) multivariate analyses of variance. Results indicated that the individualized and package groups performed significantly better than all other groups on the karate performance measures of combinations and sparring. No other between-group differences were found. These results are supported by previous research (e.g., Kirschenbaum & Bale, 1980; Silva, 1982) which demonstrates the effectiveness of individualized and packaged intervention strategies in enhancing performance. Additional well controlled intervention studies are imperative before definitive statements can be put forth.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert S. Weinberg, Dept. of Physical Education, North Texas State University, Denton, TX 7620L