Imagery or video feedback : which is the "route" to strategic improvement?
Brownell, Kyle J.
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The implementation of imagery and video feedback programs has become an important tool for aiding athletes in achieving peak performance (Halliwell, 1990). The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of strategic imagery training and video feedback on immediate performance. Participants were two university goaltenders. An alternating treatment design (ATD; Barlow & Hayes, 1979; Tawney & Gast, 1984) was employed. The strategies were investigated using three plays originating from the right side by a right-handed shooting defenceman from the blueline. The baseline condition consisted of six practices and was used to establish a stable and "ideal" measure of performance. The intervention conditions included alternating the use of strategic imagery (Cognitive general; Paivio, 1985) and video feedback. Both participants demonstrated an increase in the frequency of Cognitive general use. Specific and global performance measures were assessed to determine the relative effectiveness of the interventions. Poor inter-rater reliability resulted in the elimination of specific performance measures. Consequently, only the global measure (i.e., save percentage) was used in subsequent analyses. Visual inspection of participant save percentage was conducted to determine the benefits of the intervention. Strategic imagery training resulted in performance improvements for both participants. Video feedback facilitated performance for Participant 2, but not Participant 1. Results are discussed with respect to imagery and video interventions and the challenges associated with applied research. KEYWORDS: imagery, video, goaltenders, alternating treatment design.