THE EFFECTS OF A MENTAL IMAGERY WORKSHOP ON COACHES’ ENCOURAGEMENT OF IMAGERY USE
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Recreational athletes are encouraged to use mental imagery by their coaches less frequently than elite athletes (Jedlic, Hall, Munroe-Chandler, & Hall, 2007). The purpose of this study was to examine whether a mental imagery workshop would increase recreational level coaches’ encouragement of imagery to their athletes when compared to coaches attending a communication workshop. The workshops provided coaches with imagery or communication information and tools as well as role-playing opportunities. Recreational sport coaches (N = 132; M age = 41.80 years, SD = 9.67) completed the Coaches Encouragement of Athletes Imagery Use Questionnaire (CEAIUQ; Jedlic et al.), Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q; Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004), and questionnaires assessing coaches’ demographics, confidence, knowledge, and attitudes towards imagery. These questionnaires were completed before the workshop and online four weeks later. Repeated measure MANCOVAs, controlling for sex and highest level coached, were performed comparing the coaches’ encouragement of imagery use, as well as their confidence, attitudes, and knowledge of mental imagery, across the two study groups. No group by time interactions were found for any of the five functions of imagery. However, group by time interactions were found for knowledge (F(1, 132) = 5.45, p = .02, ηp2 = .040), attitudes (F(1,132) = 4.45, p = .01, ηp2 = .055) and confidence (F(1,132),= 7.10, p = .04, ηp2 = .032) towards imagery. Paired-samples t-tests demonstrated that the mental imagery group significantly increased their confidence from baseline to follow-up (t(65) = -2.75, p = .01). Findings provide direction for designing future coach education training programs and aid in understanding recreational sport coaches’ views on encouraging their athletes to use imagery.