The Effect of Three Different Methods of Mental Training on Dart Throwing Performance

in The Sport Psychologist
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This study was designed to (a) determine whether three frequently used mental skills training programs enhance dart throwing performance beyond that obtained by physical practice and a no-practice control, (b) compare the relative effectiveness of the three methods of mental training programs, and (c) determine if these programs differentially affect subjects who were initially of high or low skill. The subjects (N=75) were college-age men and women who were matched between conditions on ability level. In addition to the three MT groups, there was one physical practice (PP) and one control group (C). The three methods of MT included Bennett and Pravitz’ (1982, 1987), Gauron’s (1984), and Unestahl’s (1983b) packaged programs. Significant group differences were found in posttest dart throwing performance; in particular, subjects receiving the Bennett and Pravitz and Unestahl MT differed from the control group. It was concluded that Bennett and Pravitz and Unestahl packaged programs were effective since they significantly differed from the control and equaled the performance of the PP group, despite receiving substantially less physical practice.

William F. Straub is with the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, South Hill, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 14850.

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