The effects of mindfulness meditation preceding imagery on performance and image vividness of a closed motor skill

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kevin Daniel Kurtz (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: Imagery is a common technique for performance enhancement in sport and performance domains. Research has provided evidence for the use of imagery in improving confidence (Callow, Hardy & Hall, 2001; Callow & Waters, 2005), managing competition anxiety (Hanton & Jones, 1999; Evans, Jones & Mullen, 2004; Mellalieu, Hanton & Thomas, 2009), improving self-efficacy (Jones et al., 2002; O, Munroe-Chandler, Hall & Hall, 2014), and enhancing motor skill performance (Hinshaw, 1991; Driskell, Copper & Moran, 1994). Image vividness, or clarity of the image, has been shown to have a moderating effect on the effectiveness of interventions in athletic populations (Isaac, 1992). Research into the effects of engaging in relaxation techniques prior to imagery training are equivocal. Some advocate that strategies aimed at creating a “calm mind-aroused body” should be used (Holmes & Collins, 2001). The purpose of the present study was to determine if mindfulness meditation prior to imagery enhances imagery vividness and performance of a self-paced closed motor skill relative to imagery in isolation. A within-subjects counter-balanced design was used. Participants were assessed on their state-trait anxiety and imagery ability before engaging in either a mindfulness exercise followed by imagery (mindfulness plus imagery), or imagery in isolation. Participants were assessed on performance of the closed motor skill and asked to rate the vividness of their imagery. No significant differences in performance or vividness were observed between the two conditions. There was a significant effect of day, as participants’ had lower levels of error on day two and higher levels of vividness on day two. A significant interaction was found such that those with higher levels of trait anxiety had lower error after mindfulness plus imagery, while those with lower levels of trait anxiety earned lower error scores after imagery in isolation. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Imagery, Meditation, Mindfulness, Sport performance
Sports $x Psychological aspects
Mindfulness (Psychology)
Imagery (Psychology)

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