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Lew Hardy and Nichola Callow

Three experiments examined the relative efficacy of different imagery perspectives on the performance of tasks in which form was important. In Experiment 1,25 experienced karateists learned a new kata using either external or internal visual imagery or stretching. Results indicated that external visual imagery was significantly more effective than internal visual imagery, which was significantly more effective than stretching. In Experiment 2, 40 sport science students learned a simple gymnastics floor routine under one of four conditions: external or internal visual imagery with or without kinesthetic imagery. Results revealed a significant main effect for visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) but no effect for kinesthetic imagery. Experiment 3 employed the same paradigm as Experiment 2 but with high-ability rock climbers performing difficult boulder problems. Results showed significant main effects for both visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) and kinesthetic imagery. The findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive processes that might underlie imagery effects.

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Rebecca Hare, Lynne Evans and Nichola Callow

The present study explored the perceived affect of personal and situational variables, perception of pain, and imagery ability on the function and outcome of an Olympic athlete’s use of imagery. To gain an in-depth understanding of these factors, semistructured interviews were conducted across three phases of injury rehabilitation, and return to competition. The athlete also completed the Athletic Injury Imagery Questionnaire-2 (Sordoni, Hall, & Forwell, 2002), the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire-2 (Roberts, Callow, Markland, Hardy, & Bringer, 2008), and the Visual Analogue Scale for pain (Huskisson, 1974). Findings highlight the perceived affects of personal and situational variables and imagery ability on the athlete’s responses to injury and function of imagery use. Further, this usage was perceived by the athlete to affect outcome depending on the phase of rehabilitation. Interestingly, perception of pain was not considered by the athlete to influence imagery use, this might have been due to the low pain rating reported.

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Nichola Callow, Dan Jiang, Ross Roberts and Martin G. Edwards

Recent brain imaging research demonstrates that the use of internal visual imagery (IVI) or kinesthetic imagery (KIN) activates common and distinct brain areas. In this paper, we argue that combining the imagery modalities (IVI and KIN) will lead to a greater cognitive representation (with more brain areas activated), and this will cause a greater slalom-based motor performance compared with using IVI alone. To examine this assertion, we randomly allocated 56 participants to one of the three groups: IVI, IVI and KIN, or a math control group. Participants performed a slalom-based driving task in a driving simulator, with average lap time used as a measure of performance. Results revealed that the IVI and KIN group achieved significantly quicker lap times than the IVI and the control groups. The discussion includes a theoretical advancement on why the combination of imagery modalities might facilitate performance, with links made to the cognitive neuroscience literature and applied practice.

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Rosemary A. Arthur, Nichola Callow, Ross Roberts and Freya Glendinning

This study is part of a program of research investigating coaches delivering psychological skills (PS). Here, 3 studies feature an original conceptualization of coaching PS and the development and validation of 2 questionnaires capturing the coaching of PS. The authors conducted a qualitative investigation to establish a conceptual framework that included the fundamental coaching of PS behaviors (CPS-F) and the needs-supportive coaching of PS (CPS-NS). They then tested the factor structure of 2 subsequently developed questionnaires via a Bayesian structural equation modeling approach to confirmatory factor analysis across 2 samples and ran tests of invariance, concurrent, discriminant, and predictive validity. The CPS-F questionnaire showed an excellent fit for a 3-factor model, whereas the CPS-NS demonstrated an excellent single-factor fit. Significant relationships with theoretically related constructs suggested concurrent, discriminant, and predictive validity. The findings are expected to significantly further research into our understanding of coaches coaching PS.

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Ross Roberts, Nichola Callow, Lew Hardy, David Markland and Joy Bringer

The purpose of this research was to amend the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ; Isaac, Marks, & Russell, 1986) in line with contemporary imagery modality and perspective conceptualizations, and to test the validity of the amended questionnaire (i.e., the VMIQ-2). Study 1 had 351 athletes complete the 3-factor (internal visual imagery, external visual imagery, and kinesthetic imagery) 24-item VMIQ-2. Following single-factor confirmatory factor analyses and item deletion, a 12-item version was subject to correlated traits / correlated uniqueness (CTCU) analysis. An acceptable fit was revealed. Study 2 used a different sample of 355 athletes. The CTCU analysis confirmed the factorial validity of the 12-item VMIQ-2. In Study 3, the concurrent and construct validity of the VMIQ-2 was supported. Taken together, the results of the 3 studies provide preliminary support for the revised VMIQ-2 as a psychometrically valid questionnaire.

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Ross Roberts, Nichola Callow, Lew Hardy, Tim Woodman and Laura Thomas

Two studies examined the interactive effects of different visual imagery perspectives and narcissism on motor performance. In both studies participants completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-40: Raskin & Hall, 1979) and were assigned to either an internal visual imagery or external visual imagery group. Participants then performed a motor task (dart throwing in Study 1 and golf putting in Study 2) under conditions of practice, low self-enhancement, and high self-enhancement. Following completion of the respective tasks, participants were categorized into high and low narcissistic groups based on their NPI-40 scores. In both studies, high narcissists using external visual imagery significantly improved performance from the low to the high self-enhancement condition, whereas high narcissists using internal visual imagery did not. Low narcissists remained relatively constant in performance across self-enhancement conditions, regardless of perspective. The results highlight the importance of considering personality characteristics when examining the effects of visual imagery perspectives on performance.

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Lorcan Donal Cronin, Calum Alexander Arthur, James Hardy and Nichola Callow

In this cross-sectional study, we examined a mediational model whereby transformational leadership is related to task cohesion via sacrifice. Participants were 381 American (M age = 19.87 years, SD = 1.41) Division I university athletes (188 males, 193 females) who competed in a variety of sports. Participants completed measures of coach transformational leadership, personal and teammate inside sacrifice, and task cohesion. After conducting multilevel mediation analysis, we found that both personal and teammate inside sacrifice significantly mediated the relationships between transformational leadership behaviors and task cohesion. However, there were differential patterns of these relationships for male and female athletes. Interpretation of the results highlights that coaches should endeavor to display transformational leadership behaviors as they are related to personal and teammate inside sacrifices and task cohesion.

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Nichola Callow, Ross Roberts, Joy D. Bringer and Edel Langan

Two studies explored coach education imagery interventions. In Study 1, 29 performance coaches were randomly assigned to either an imagery workshop group (n = 13) or an imagery-reading comparison control group (n = 16). Pre and post intervention, coaches completed the CEAIUQ (Jedlic, Hall, Munroe-Chandler, & Hall, 2007) and a confidence questionnaire designed for the study. Further, coaches’ athletes completed the CIAIUQ (Jedlic et al., 2007) at pre and post intervention. Due to a poor response rate (n = 9), an exploratory case study approach was employed to present the data. Results revealed that, while all coaches found the workshop to be interesting and useful, with certain coaches, encouragement of specific aspects of imagery decreased as did confidence to deliver imagery. To overcome the limitations of Study 1, Study 2 employed a needs based approach. Five elite coaches completed a performance profile related to imagery and the CEAIUQ. Four individualized sessions were then conducted. Inspection of post intervention data indicated that the intervention increased encouragement of imagery use, imagery constructs identified as important by the individual coaches, and, when identified, confidence to deliver imagery. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of coach education from both an applied and research perspective.

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Tim Woodman, Paul A. Davis, Lew Hardy, Nichola Callow, Ian Glasscock and Jason Yuill-Proctor

We conducted three experiments to examine the relationships between emotions and subcomponents of performance. Experiment 1 revealed that anger was associated with enhanced gross muscular peak force performance but that happiness did not influence grammatical reasoning performance. Following Lazarus (1991, 2000a), we examined hope rather than happiness in Experiment 2. As hypothesized, hope yielded faster soccer-related reaction times in soccer players. Experiment 3 was an examination of extraversion as a moderator of the anger-performance relationship. When angry, extraverts’ peak force increased more than introverts’. Results are discussed and future research directions are offered in relation to Lazarus’s framework.