The study investigated the impact of varying combinations of facilitative and debilitative imagery and self-talk (ST) on self-efficacy and performance of a dart-throwing task. Participants (N = 95) were allocated to 1 of 5 groups: (a) facilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (b) facilitative imagery/debilitative ST, (c) debilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (d) debilitative imagery/debilitative ST, or (e) control. Mixed-design ANOVAs revealed that performance, but not self-efficacy, changed over time as a function of the assigned experimental condition. Participants in the debilitative imagery/debilitative ST condition worsened their performance, and participants in the facilitative imagery/facilitative ST condition achieved better scores. These findings demonstrate that a combination of facilitative imagery and ST can enhance performance whereas debilitative imagery and ST can hamper it.
Jennifer Cumming, Robin Horton, and Scott Reynolds are with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, England, UK. E-mail: J.Cumming@Bham.ac.uk. Sanna M. Nordin is now with the London Sport Institute, Middlesex University.