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Coaches' encouragement of athletes' imagery use.

27 Dec

A Canadian survey of coaches and athletes finds that guided imagery is consistently used more for competition than for recreational athletics, and for higher level athletes (international, national & varsity competition) .

Researchers from the School of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada looked at whether coaches encourage their athletes to use imagery, using a survey given to coaches and another given to athletes. In the first, 317 athletes completed the Coaches'' Encouragement of Athletes'' Imagery Use Questionnaire. In the second, 215 coaches completed a slightly modified version of this questionnaire.

The study found that coaches and athletes generally agreed on the relative frequency with which coaches encourage athletes to use imagery. Coaches promoted imagery use more in conjunction with competition than training and injury rehabilitation, and higher-level competition coaches encouraged imagery use far more than their recreational counterparts. In addition, the level of athlete being coached had a major impact on how much or how little coaches encouraged their athletes to use imagery. Coaches encouraged higher level athletes (i.e., international, national, varsity competitors) to use imagery more than club and recreational athletes.

Citation: Jedlic B, Hall N, Munroe-Chandler K, Hall C. Coaches' encouragement of athletes' imagery use. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 2007 Sep; 78 (4): pages 351-63.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award