A qualitative study to compare the levels of imagery used between elite and non-elite netball shooters
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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A qualitative research methodology was used to explore the differences in the use of imagery between three elite and three non-elite netball shooters. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on each player using an interview guide. The participants’ responses were inductively analysed, in which within-case and cross-case methods were conducted on the data. Five categories emerged, these included, imagery training and instruction, when imagery is used, types of imagery, uses of imagery and imagery outcome. All participants reported using imagery but the extent and use varied between the individuals. The elite participants tended to use imagery before competition and very little in training. The non-elite participants, on the other hand, reported using imagery during and after a game and training as an aid to reviewing performance. All participants reported using imagery to enhance performance, improve concentration, increase self confidence and reduce levels of stress and anxiety through relaxation. Individual differences in imagery ability and imagery perspective were found, as well as between the elite and non-elite groups. Imagery was not a strategy that had been implemented into the athletes training program and many did not understand its true beneficial effect. Therefore, coaches need to be educated on the effects of imagery so it can be implemented into an athletes training schedule due to the great enhancements that could result in performance.
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