Optimal timing of a PETTLEP mental imagery intervention on a dart throwing task

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul T. Knackstedt (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: Research supports the use of mental imagery (MI) to increase performance on subsequent motor tasks. Elite athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists agree that MI is effective in positively influencing performance. Recent neuroscience research has established that there is functional equivalence in brain structures when using MI to imagine executing a task and physically executing the same task. To maximize functional equivalence in a MI intervention, Holmes and Collins (2001) introduced the PETTLEP model of MI. Despite overwhelming evidence for the effectiveness of PETTLEP MI, little is known about the optimal time-of-day to practice MI to influence subsequent performance to the highest degree. This study assesses the best time-of-day to use PETTLEP MI to maximize performance in a dart throwing task. Participants for this study included (n=30) undergraduate students that received a one session PETTLEP MI intervention immediately prior to the task (preparatory MI) or 12 hours prior to the task, including 8 hours of nighttime sleep. Data was collected by totaling scores on the dart throwing task based on accuracy and consistency. Baseline scores were compared to post-intervention test scores. The results of a repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) for dart throwing performance indicated no significant improvement in accuracy (p >.05) or consistency (p >.05) following the PETTLEP MI intervention. Further analysis revealed no significant dart throwing improvement for accuracy (p >.05) or consistency (p >.05) based on the timing of PETTLEP MI intervention, indicating no difference in the change from pre-test to post-test between preparatory and consolidation PETTLEP MI groups. These findings suggest that a single session PETTLEP MI intervention for dart throwing is not sufficient to see performance improvements. Although significant results were not found, future PETTLEP MI interventions should consider the use of additional PETTLEP training sessions, the inclusion of skilled performers doing a task they are familiar with, and assessing sleep characteristics, as participants in the current study were found to be poor and disordered sleepers.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Consolidation, Dart, Imagery, Novice, PETTLEP, Sleep
Sports $x Psychological aspects
Motor ability

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