Arousal imagery effects on competitive state anxiety and performance of the soccer penalty kick
Light, Matthew Neil
Master of Science
MetadataShow full item record
Study participants: 2 soccer teams in Northwestern Ontario (age 13-18 years).Some athletes perceive competitive state anxiety as unhelpful and negative to performance while it energizes and excites others. Perceptions o f anxiety affect motor performance, consequently it is important to develop strategies which are able to modify athletes negative perceptions. Imagery is used as a common intervention for preparing athletes for performance. Its motivational function refers to images related to physiological and emotional arousal. Most imagery research has primarily been implemented for skill development/learning of motor skills, and has not investigated the effects o f motivational arousal imagery on competitive state anxiety. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of an 8 week imagery intervention based on the motivation general arousal element of Paivio’s (1985) analytical framework of imagery effects in: (a) modifying perceptions of anxiety from negative to positive, and (b) improving performance o f the penalty kick. Using a treatment (imagery) and no treatment (no imagery) design, two male and two female representative youth soccer teams (N = 46) completed a modified version o f the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2D) five minutes before taking five penalty kicks. The CSAI-2D assesses both intensity and direction (debilitative-facilitative) of the state anxiety response. Participants (n = 28) who reported debilitative state anxiety as indicated by the CSAI-2D were then allocated to imagery (n = 14) and no imagery (n = 14) groups Debilitative state anxiety was assessed using CSAI-2D directional scores. Individuals who scored less than 36 on cognitive or somatic directional scales were considered debilitative. Following the 8 week intervention participants were again assessed on penalty kick performance. Two-way analysis of variance (Group x Time) with repeated measures on the second factor revealed no significant interactions for cognitive anxiety; somatic anxiety; or self-confidence intensity and direction subscales. Main effects were revealed for cognitive anxiety direction (E(i,27) = 6.68, p < .05) and self-confidence intensity (E(i,27) = 4.54, p < .05). The analysis was unable to demonstrate performance effects arising from imagery or no imagery exposure. This study indicates that using motivational arousal imagery may not be a compatible treatment for restructuring negative interpretations of state anxiety towards taking soccer penalty kicks.