The role of mental imagery and stress management training in the performance of female swimmers
Keywords:Mental imagery; , Stress management; , Female athletes.
Objectives: The purpose of this research was to study the role of mental imagery and stress management training in the performance of female swimmers.
Methods: The present study included 30 female amateur swimmers (age range 12-15 years) of the swimming team of Zahedan (Iran). A total of 15 swimmers were randomly assigned to the experimental group and the other 15 to the control group. The experimental group received mental imagery and stress management training. Stress management was assessed with the Short Form of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), mental imagery was evaluated with the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-Revised (MIQ-R), and swimming performance swimming front crawl 25 meters.
Findings: After the intervention program, the participants of the experimental group significantly improved their DASS-21 scores (mean difference between pre-test and post-test = 4.37), their MIQ-R scores (mean difference between pre-test and post-test = 4.54) and their swimming performance (mean difference between pre-test and post-test = 0.83 seconds).
Conclusions: Mental imagery and stress management training can significantly improve the performance of female swimmers. These results should be considered by swimmers and coaches and should be applied to swimming training.
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