Objectives: To identify which functions of imagery are most frequently used by elite athletes, whether imagery usage differs between training and competing contexts, if imagery use differs between genders, and whether any gender differences in imagery use interacts with training and competition contexts. Methods: 62 elite male and female cricketers and Australian Football League players participants completed the Sports Imagery Questionnaire in both training and competition contexts. Results: Motivational general-mastery imagery (MG-M) imagery was significantly the most frequently used imagery function, with male athletes reporting using imagery significantly more frequently than female athletes. Furthermore, a significant gender by context interaction demonstrated that the male athletes used imagery significantly more frequently before competing compared to before training, whilst conversely the female athletes used imagery significantly more frequently prior to training compared to competition. Conclusions: Future research should further explore the potential benefits of imagery in female athletic populations by using imagery interventions that are sufficiently bespoke for the needs of female athletes.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity
|Published - 31 Jan 2024
- mental imagery; gender; training; competition; cricket; AFL; Australia