An Imagery Intervention during the Competitive Season with an Elite Rugby Union Player

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Lynne Evans University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

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Leigh Jones University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

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Richard Mullen University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

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The purpose of the present study was to explore the use of imagery by an elite rugby union football player and to examine the effects of an imagery intervention in a practical performance environment. The study took place over a 14-week period of the competitive season. Data collection comprised semi-structured interviews, diaries, and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire. The findings suggested that the participant primarily used cognitive specific and cognitive general imagery. Post-intervention, the participant reported greater clarity; detail; control over his anxiety, activation, and motivation levels; an improvement in his ability to generate confidence in his playing ability prior to games; and more structure to his imagery use. The study highlighted the importance of individualizing imagery interventions to meet the specific needs of different athletes.

The authors are with the School of Sport, P.E., & Recreation at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Wales, CF23 6XD, United Kingdom. E-mail: levans@uwic.ac.uk.

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