The purpose of the study was to identify and describe the four Ws of athletes’ imagery use: where, when, why, and what. Due to the in-depth nature of the questions being asked, a qualitative approach was employed. The participants were 14 elite athletes (7 male and 7 female), representing 7 different sports. A constant comparative method of analysis was conducted by two investigators. A conceptual framework was developed to display the four Ws of imagery use during and outside practice, as well as for pre-competition, competition, and post competition. Results from the present study indicated where and when athletes use imagery, and extended previous findings on why and for what athletes use imagery. It was proposed that a better understanding of the athletes’ images can serve as a guide to future research and from a practical perspective, facilitate the development of more effective imagery interventions.
Krista Munroe is with the School of Human Kinetics, The University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4 Canada; Peter R. Giacobbi, Jr. is with the Department of HPER at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2700; Craig Hall is with the School of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7 Canada.; Robert S. Weinberg is with the Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport Studies at Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056.