The use and effectiveness of imagery in semi professional football
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of this study was to qualitatively investigate the use and effectiveness of imagery in semi professional football. An initial sample (N=14), made up of the University of Wales institute Cardiff’s first team football squad, completed the Adapted Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (Roberts et al, 2005). From this a purposeful sample (N=5) was selected by meeting certain criteria, including being high in imagery ability as identified by the results of the AVMIQ. Data on the participants imagery use was collected through the use of diaries and semi structured interviews. Inductive theme and content analysis was then performed on the gathered data. Findings from the study showed that the players used imagery in relation to competition, during training and during day-to-day life to reduce anxiety, increase confidence and for the mental rehearsal of skills. An internal perspective was the most favoured of the players and it was found that they perceived their images to be vivid and controllable. They also stated that their use of imagery was effective in serving its purpose and the desired outcome was usually achieved. This study showed that the use of imagery could be an effective tool in enhancing performance at this level of football. It also highlighted the need for players and coaches alike to increase their understanding of the technique, and subsequently work together to implement a structured imagery programme as part of their preparation for performance.
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