This study examined the effectiveness of mental practice techniques for improving figure skating performance, self-efficacy, and self-confidence for competition. Two interventions, paper freestyle drawing (PFD) and walk through on floor (WTF), were compared to a stretching control group. Participants (n = 27), ages 10 to 18 years, were members of the United States Figure Skating Association and were randomly assigned to one of the three groups. The study included procedural reliability checks such as pre- and post-manipulation checks; structured seminars; and homework workbooks. Results indicated that the two mental practice groups significantly improved their performance ratings in jumps and spins, and their competition confidence compared to the stretching control group. Results also indicated that the WTF mental practice group increased their spinning self-efficacy beliefs compared to the PFD mental practice treatment and the stretching control group.
Deborah L. Garza is a master’s degree student at Michigan State University in the Department of Kinesiology, East Lansing, MI 48824. Deborah L. Feltz is a professor and chair at the same university.