The Use of Imagery by Athletes in Selected Sports

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Western Ontario
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The use of imagery by athletes was assessed by administering a 37-item questionnaire to a sample of 381 male and female participants from six sports. The sample comprised competitors in the sports of football, ice hockey, soccer, squash, gymnastics, and figure skating. Athletes reported using imagery more in conjunction with competition than with practice. The motivational function of imagery was found to be important, but no substantial differences were evident between how athletes employ visual and kinesthetic imagery or how they use internal and external imagery perspectives. Athletes also indicated that they do not have very structured or regular imagery sessions. The level at which athletes were competing (recreational/house league, local competitive, provincial competitive, national/international competitive) was found to influence imagery use. The higher the competitive level, the more often the athletes reported using imagery in practice, in competition, and before an event.

C.R. Hall is with the Faculty of Physical Education, Thames Hall, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont. N6A 3K7. W.M. Rodgers and K.A. Barr are graduate students. W.M. Rodgers is now in the Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo.

This study was supported by grant P014A5 to the first author from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. We are grateful to the athletes who participated in the study and their coaches for supporting us in the data collection.

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