In this experiment, differences in the temporal organization of routines in artistic gymnastics executed under mental and physical conditions were examined. Twelve elite female gymnasts performed their floor routines mentally, then performed the same routines physically. On each of three days, the performance was filmed, and the durations of the mental and actual routines were timed. The results showed that mental movement times were shorter than physical routine times. It was concluded that the speed of visualization depends on the situation in which the gymnasts visualize as well as on the function that the athlete attributes to the use of imagery. We observed a trend when comparing the different stages of the relative duration of mental and actual routines. If confirmed, we hypothesized that the lengthening of the relative duration of certain stages under mental conditions could be linked to the perceived difficulty of the gymnastics elements.
Claire Calmels and Jean F. Fournier
Claire Calmels, Christelle Berthoumieux and Fabienne Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
This study examined the effectiveness of an imagery training program in improving national softball players’ selective attention. A multiple-baseline design across individuals was used. There were four participants. One remained at baseline, while the other three spent 10 min a day practicing an audio-taped imagery program composed of 28 sessions. Measures of selective attention were collected via a baseball/softball batting specific version stemming from Nideffer’s (1976) Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS). The results demonstrated that the imagery training program generally enhanced the ability of softball players to integrate external stimuli without being overloaded with them and to narrow attention. Results were discussed in relation to the usefulness of multiple-baseline designs for investigating individual differences among elite athletes. Practical pedagogical considerations for coaching are proposed.