Volume 71, Issue 3 (June 2013)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2013, 71(3): 171-178 | Back to browse issues page

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Seif-Barghi T, Kordi R, Memari A. Effect of mental imagery on performance elite athletes’ in youth and adult age groups: a randomized trial. Tehran Univ Med J 2013; 71 (3) :171-178
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-5254-en.html
1- , amirmemari@farabi.tums.ac.ir
Abstract:   (13713 Views)
Background: Athletes are usually skilled in physical aspects of sports they are widely involved in physical conditioning, technical and tactical training. However they usually ignore the psychological and cognitive skills linked to their performance. Sport imagery is a well known fundamental skill that has a critical role in how a player performs and shows his/her competency during a real world game. On the other hand football as a complex team sport includes several skills linked to physical and psychological properties. We aimed to study the effect of cognitive imagery on elite football players through league competitions in two separate studies.
Methods: Twenty two youth players and Twenty two adult players randomly assigned to imagery and control groups. Players in intervention group received 12 weeks training program for specific cognitive imagery and general cognitive imagery. Imagery training program focused on an important component of football performance as “successful passing”. Players in control group were assigned to a waiting list with no intervention. In order to evaluate outcome variable we assessed successful passing in real compete-tions as player performance in both pre and post test occasions.
Results: Findings of study in youth participants showed that young players in interven-tion group improved the performance of passing compared to control players (OR=1.41, P<0.000, CI 95%: 1.17, 1.69(. In contrary, Imagery performance in adult group remained unchanged in spite of an increasing trend in performance (OR=1.07, P>0.05, CI 95%: 0.82, 1.4(.
Conclusion: These results showed that cognitive imagery intervention can affect elite soccer players’ performance. This effect is more prominent in youth age football players.
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