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Athletes' use of exercise imagery during weight


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ARTICLE in THE JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH · DECEMBER 2007


Impact Factor: 1.86 · DOI: 10.1519/R-20746.1 · Source: PubMed

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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(4), 1077–1081
䉷 2007 National Strength & Conditioning Association

ATHLETES’ USE OF EXERCISE IMAGERY DURING


WEIGHT TRAINING
MICHAEL S. SILBERNAGEL, SANDRA E. SHORT, AND LINDSAY C. ROSS-STEWART
Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
58202.

ABSTRACT. Silbernagel, M.S., S.E. Short, and L.C. Ross-Stew- scale of 1 (never) to 9 (always). Note that the authors of
art. Athletes’ use of exercise imagery during weight training. J. the questionnaire inappropriately named it the ‘‘weight
Strength Cond. Res. 21(4):1077–1081. 2007.—Imagery is a cog- lifting’’ questionnaire when they should have used
nitive process during which people use their minds to create (or ‘‘weight training,’’ ‘‘strength training,’’ or ‘‘resistance
recreate) experiences that are similar to real-life situations. This
study examined how college athletes used imagery during
training’’ because they were not referring to the Olympic
weight training. Subjects were 295 Division I (n ⫽ 163) and Di- sport of weight lifting. To be consistent, we also refer to
vision II (n ⫽ 132) college student athletes (men: n ⫽ 138, wom- it as the Weight Lifting Imagery Questionnaire. The
en: n ⫽ 157) who participated in a weight training program as WLIQ has 3 subscales: appearance imagery that focuses
a requirement of their sport. They completed a slightly modified on the attainment of a fit-looking body, energy imagery
version of the ‘‘Weight Lifting Imagery Questionnaire.’’ Results that relates to getting ‘‘psyched up’’ or feeling energized,
showed that appearance imagery (i.e., images related to the at- and technique imagery that relates to performing the
tainment of a fit-looking body) was used and considered the most skill and techniques correctly with good form. Results
effective followed by technique imagery (i.e., images related to showed that subjects reported using appearance imagery
performing the skill and techniques correctly with good form)
the most followed by technique and energy imagery,
and energy imagery (i.e., images related to getting ‘‘psyched up’’
or feeling energized). Other variables that effected imagery use which supported previous research from other samples of
were gender, age, time of season, and levels of motivation. In exercisers (4, 7).
addition, gender, previous imagery training, and level of moti- Informative as it may be, this study (11) was limited
vation had an effect on the perceptions of imagery effectiveness. in several ways. That is, the researchers used only men
Confidence in the ability to image was associated with both im- who were involved in recreational weight training. What
agery use and effectiveness, and imagery use and effectiveness about the use of exercise imagery by athletes who are
were associated with confidence in the weight room. The find- required to train? Furthermore, what about women? In
ings support previous research in exercise imagery that appear- addition, the study was primarily descriptive in that it
ance imagery is most used followed by technique and energy showed that subjects used exercise imagery, but it did not
imagery and extend them in such a way that strength coaches
have practical advice on how to use imagery in a positive way
address the effectiveness of the images. As has been
with their athletes. Suggestions about how strength coaches can shown in sport imagery research, some athletes use im-
use imagery with their clients are provided. ages that are actually debilitative or harmful, and these
images have a negative effect on their performances (15,
KEY WORDS. visualization, strength training, confidence 17).
The present study examined the frequency of imagery
use among collegiate athletes who were required to lift,
INTRODUCTION as well as their perceptions of the effectiveness of the im-
n sport settings, imagery is regarded as one of ages. A number of other variables (e.g., gender, age, time

I the most popular and effective techniques to


enhance the learning and performance of skills
and strategies, to regulate arousal and anxiety,
and to modify cognitions (e.g., self-confidence)
(9, 15). Imagery mimics real experience, during which
of season, imagery training, level of motivation) that may
affect use and effectiveness were also considered. As has
been done in sports (10, 18), the relationship between con-
fidence in ability to use imagery and imagery use and
effectiveness and the relationship between imagery use
people can be aware of seeing an image; feeling move- and effectiveness and confidence in the weight room were
ments as an image; or experiencing an image of smell, also considered. Confidence is one of the key psychological
tastes, or sounds. It differs from dreams in that people states thought to affect performance in many different
are awake and conscious when using imagery (20). Hall settings, including sports and exercise (3).
(6) was the first to suggest that people may use imagery Although this was the first time that athletes’ use of
in exercise settings just as they do in sports. Since then, exercise imagery was examined in a required workout
several studies have been conducted on how imagery is setting, there was no basis for hypothesizing that these
used in exercise settings or by exercisers (4, 5, 7, 8, 11, athletes would use exercise imagery differently than the
13, 14, 16, 21). In several of these studies, the samples other samples, like the recreational weight trainers. How-
included subjects who were involved in various super- ever, given that the workouts were required, we felt that
vised and recreational weight training programs. motivation level would be important to consider and
One of the most recent and relevant studies that ex- therefore hypothesized that those who were more moti-
amined imagery use in weight training was conducted vated in the weight room would use more imagery and
with 415 men from a recreational setting (11). They com- perceive it as more effective. The other key variable of
pleted the ‘‘Weight Lifting Imagery Questionnaire’’ interest was confidence. It was expected that those who
(WLIQ), which is a 9-item measure that involves rating were more confident in their ability to image would use
how often certain images are used on a 9-point Likert imagery more and perceive it as more effective. Imagery
1077
1078 SILBERNAGEL, SHORT, AND ROSS-STEWART

use was also expected to be positively related to confi- items for the appearance subscale are: ‘‘I imagine a more
dence. muscularly proportionate/balanced me from lifting
weights,’’ ‘‘I imagine a more ‘defined me’ from lifting
METHODS weights,’’ and ‘‘I imagine a ‘bigger me’ from lifting
Experimental Approach to the Problem weights.’’ These items were changed to give the subjects’
appearance questions that were more closely related to
A quantitative research design was used in which sub- the terminology used by them and their coaches. The
jects completed a modified WLIQ and a background in- items for the other subscales were not changed. Cron-
formation-type sheet after one of their required workouts. bach’s alpha values for the imagery subscales were ac-
ceptable: energy (␣ ⫽ 0.88), technique (␣ ⫽ 0.83), and
Subjects
appearance subscales (␣ ⫽ 0.91).
Approval to conduct this study was obtained by the In- The effectiveness of imagery was assessed by asking
stitutional Review Board of the University of North Da- each subject ‘‘How does this image affect your perfor-
kota. Once the subjects agreed to participate, they were mance in the weight room?’’ Ratings were made on a ⫺3
asked to sign a consent form. Subjects were 295 Division (negative/hinders) to 0 (neutral) to ⫹3 (positive/helps)
I (n ⫽ 163) and Division II (n ⫽ 132) college student ath- scale. Like the imagery use ratings, effectiveness ratings
letes (men: n ⫽ 138, women: n ⫽ 157) who participated were completed for each item and computed separately
in a strength training program as a requirement of their for each subscale. The alpha values for appearance, en-
sport. They were between 18 and 26 years of age (mean ergy, and technique effectiveness subscales were 0.90,
⫽ 20.10 ⫾ 1.39). They participated in a variety of sports: 0.72, and 0.78, respectively.
baseball (n ⫽ 1), basketball (n ⫽ 39), cheer and dance (n To assess the level of motivation for strength training,
⫽ 25), football (n ⫽ 72), golf (n ⫽ 18), hockey (n ⫽ 13), 2 questions were used. The first question asked subjects
soccer (n ⫽ 13), softball (n ⫽ 14), swimming and diving to rate their level of motivation in the weight room on a
(n ⫽ 26), track and field (n ⫽ 68), and volleyball (n ⫽ 6). scale of 0 to 9 (0 ⫽ low and 9 ⫽ high). The second question
They had been playing their sports for an average of 9.08 was a more indirect measure of motivation in which sub-
years (SD ⫽ 3.85, range ⫽ 1–19). These athletes were jects were asked how much time they would spend in the
completing either in-season (n ⫽ 105) or out-of-season (n weight room if they were not required to be there. Choices
⫽ 190) strength training programs. The number of days were ‘‘less,’’ ‘‘the same,’’ and ‘‘more.’’ The correlation be-
spent in the weight room ranged from 2 to 5 days per tween these 2 questions was statistically significant (r ⫽
week (mean ⫽ 2.60 ⫾ 0.58) for the in-season athletes and 0.40, p ⫽ 0.00). An analysis of variance using the ‘‘How
from 2 to 6 days per week (mean ⫽ 3.50 ⫾ 0.69) for the much time would you spend in the weight room?’’ variable
out-of-season athletes. Subjects also reported spending 1– as the independent variable and the level of motivation
15 hours per week in the weight room (mean ⫽ 3.20 ⫾ ratings as the dependent variable was statistically sig-
1.36) during in-season training and 1.5–12 hours per nificant (F[2, 292] ⫽ 25.06, p ⫽ 0.00). Posthoc tests
week (mean ⫽ 4.70 ⫾ 1.9) during the off season. The sub- showed that those athletes who indicated that they would
jects had spent 1–5 years (mean ⫽ 2.10 ⫾ 1.16) in a spend ‘‘less’’ time in the weight room reported the lowest
strength training program. All athletes, regardless of motivation scores (mean ⫽ 5.81 ⫾ 1.97), followed by the
whether they were in or out of season, were supervised ‘‘same’’ group (mean ⫽ 7.07 ⫾ 1.47), with the highest
by a strength and conditioning coach during their work- scores reported by the ‘‘more’’ group (mean ⫽ 7.80 ⫾
outs. All of the strength and conditioning coaches who 1.11). The ‘‘less,’’ ‘‘same,’’ and ‘‘more’’ groups were rela-
supervised the athletes used in this study were Certified beled as representing low, moderate, and high motiva-
Strength and Conditioning Specialists (through the Na- tion.
tional Strength and Conditioning Association) and had The confidence measures used in this study were con-
USA Weightlifting Club Coach certification. The pro- structed in accordance with Bandura’s (1) recommenda-
grams were all ground based and Olympic in nature, with tions. Confidence in the weight room was assessed by 2
both linear and nonlinear periodization being used. Com- items: ‘‘How confident are you in your ability to lift
ponents of strength, speed, power, flexibility, and agility weights using the correct form/technique?’’ and ‘‘How con-
were addressed in the programs, primarily in accordance fident are you in your ability to perform the lifts required
with the sport coaches’ specific needs. Even though the in a workout?’’ These items were significantly correlated
athletes were from Divisions I and II and participated in with each other (r ⫽ 0.66, p ⫽ 0.00). For this reason, the
different sports, the strength and conditioning profession- scores for the items were averaged for each subject, cre-
als involved had similar philosophies and coaching strat- ating 1 ‘‘confidence in the weight room’’ variable. The al-
egies. Overall, the programs varied more in the type of pha value for these 2 items was 0.80. Confidence in ability
sport played rather than the division in which the partic- to use imagery was assessed by asking the subjects the
ipants played. following question: ‘‘How confident are you in your ability
With respect to the subjects’ previous experience with to use imagery in the weight room?’’ Subjects responded
imagery, subjects were asked whether or not they had to the question using the same 0 (low) to 9 (high) Likert-
any training in imagery (i.e., had anyone ever taught type scale.
them how to image?). Only 44.7% (n ⫽ 132) answered
affirmatively. Statistical Analyses
Descriptive statistics were computed for all variables.
Procedures
Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to
Subjects were given a modified version of the WLIQ (11). evaluate differences according to gender, time of season,
The appearance items used were ‘‘I imagine a more stron- previous imagery training, and level of motivation on the
ger/more explosive me from lifting weights,’’ ‘‘I imagine a WLIQ subscales. Correlations were computed between
more ‘athletic me’ from lifting weights,’’ and ‘‘I imagine a age and the WLIQ subscales, and well as for those anal-
‘more powerful me’ from lifting weights.’’ The original yses using the confidence variables. The p level for all
IMAGERY DURING WEIGHT TRAINING 1079

TABLE 1. Descriptive statistics for imagery use. TABLE 3. Descriptive statistics for imagery effectiveness.
Appearance Energy Technique Appearance Energy Technique
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Full sample 6.03 1.88 2.31 1.63 4.96 2.06 Full sample 1.40 0.96 0.21 0.73 0.95 0.97
Gender Gender
Men 6.37 1.98 2.78 1.87 5.36 2.09 Men 1.70 0.93 0.34 0.81 1.16 0.98
Women 5.74 1.74 1.91 1.26 4.61 1.97 Women 1.14 0.91 0.10 0.63 0.77 0.94
Time of season Time of season
In season 6.27 1.69 2.34 1.60 5.40 2.11 In season 1.57 0.82 0.26 0.75 1.22 0.94
Off season 5.90 1.97 2.30 1.65 4.72 1.99 Off season 1.31 1.02 0.19 0.72 0.81 0.97
Imagery training Imagery training
Yes 5.98 1.85 2.34 1.63 5.19 2.03 Yes 1.34 0.91 0.23 0.69 1.06 0.93
No 6.08 1.91 2.29 1.63 4.78 2.07 No 1.46 1.00 0.20 0.76 0.86 1.01
Motivation Motivation
Low 5.39 1.79 1.58 0.88 4.26 1.94 Low 0.95 0.93 0.04 0.55 0.56 0.92
Moderate 6.06 1.87 2.35 1.59 5.10 2.08 Moderate 1.45 0.86 0.21 0.70 1.05 0.97
High 7.10 1.59 3.53 2.06 5.73 1.84 High 2.07 0.93 0.54 0.97 1.33 0.87

analyses was set at 0.05; only significant results are re- imagery use were only significant for energy (r[293] ⫽
ported below. 0.15, p ⬍ 0.05), showing that the older athletes used more
energy imagery. The correlations in Table 2 show that
RESULTS those who were more confident in their ability to use im-
Descriptive results reported in Table 1 show that appear- agery used imagery more. Furthermore, the imagery use
ance imagery was used the most. From this subscale, the subscales were positively associated with confidence in
item ‘‘I imagine a more ‘athletic me’ from lifting weights’’ the weight room, except for energy.
was used the most (mean ⫽ 6.55 ⫾ 2.16). Next was tech-
nique imagery, and the item ‘‘When I think about lifting Imagery Effectiveness
weights, I imagine doing the required lifts (e.g. squat, Descriptive statistics for the variables effecting imagery
power clean, bench)’’ was used the most (mean ⫽ 5.46 ⫾ effectiveness are shown in Table 3. Appearance imagery
2.48). Energy imagery was used least often, but the item was considered to be the most helpful, and the most ef-
‘‘To get me energized, I imagine lifting weights’’ was the fective appearance image was ‘‘I imagine a more ‘athletic
most frequently used (mean ⫽ 2.61 ⫾ 1.95). me’ from lifting weights’’ (mean ⫽ 1.68 ⫾ 1.12). Tech-
The MANOVA for gender on imagery use was statis- nique imagery was the second most effective, with its
tically significant (Wilks’ lambda ⫽ 0.93, F[4, 290] ⫽ 5.89, most effective image being ‘‘When I think about lifting
p ⬍ 0.05), and tests of between subjects effects showed weights, I imagine my form and body position’’ (mean ⫽
that men scored higher than women on all subscales: ap- 1.10 ⫾ 1.15). Overall, energy imagery was the least effec-
pearance (F[1, 293] ⫽ 8.41, p ⬍ 0.05); energy (F[1, 293] tive, but the image perceived as most effective was ‘‘To
⫽ 22.27, p ⬍ 0.05); and technique (F[1, 293] ⫽ 10.33, p get me energized, I imagine lifting weights’’ (mean ⫽ 0.28
⬍ 0.05). The MANOVA for time of season was also sta- ⫾ 1.02).
tistically significant (Wilks’ lambda ⫽ 0.96, F[4, 290] ⫽ The MANOVA for effectiveness of imagery using gen-
2.75, p ⬍ 0.05) but only for technique imagery der as an independent variable was statistically signifi-
(F[1, 293] ⫽ 7.61, p ⬍ 0.05). In all cases, the means for cant (Wilks’ lambda ⫽ 0.80, F[4, 290] ⫽ 8.23, p ⬍ 0.05).
in season were higher compared with out of season. The Men scored higher than women on appearance (F[1, 293]
analysis was statistically significant for motivation ⫽ 27.33, p ⬍ 0.05), technique (F[1, 293] ⫽ 11.85, p ⬍
(Wilks’ lambda ⫽ 0.83, F[8, 578] ⫽ 7.21, p ⬍ 0.05). Tests 0.05), and energy (F[1, 295] ⫽ 7.79, p ⬍ 0.05). Time of
of between subject effects were statistically significant for season was also statistically significant (Wilks’ lambda ⫽
all subscales: appearance (F[2, 292]) ⫽ 13.38, p ⬍ 0.05), 0.95, F[4, 290] ⫽ 3.90, p ⬍ 0.05), where mean ratings for
technique (F[2, 292] ⫽ 8.91, p ⬍ 0.05), and energy in-season athletes were higher compared with out-of-sea-
(F[2, 292] ⫽ 24.69, p ⬍ 0.05). Subjects who were highly son athletes for technique (F[1, 293] ⫽ 12.38, p ⬍ 0.05)
motivated used imagery more than those who were mod- and appearance (F[1, 293] ⫽ 4.80, p ⬍ 0.05). Those who
erately motivated, who, in turn, used imagery more than were more motivated found imagery to be more effective
those who were low in motivation. Pearson correlation co- (Wilks’ lambda ⫽ 0.84, F[8, 578] ⫽ 6.69, p ⬍ 0.05), and
efficients for the relationship between subjects’ age and this was for all subscales: appearance (F[2, 292] ⫽ 23.39,

TABLE 2. Correlations between imagery use and confidence.


(1) (2) (3) (4)
(1) Appearance 1.00
(2) Energy 0.49* 1.00
(3) Technique 0.67* 0.51* 1.00
(4) Confidence in the weight room 0.28* 0.10 0.29* 1.00
(5) Confidence in ability to use imagery 0.43* 0.37* 0.50* 0.45*
* Correlations significant at 0.05 level.
1080 SILBERNAGEL, SHORT, AND ROSS-STEWART

TABLE 4. Correlations between imagery effectiveness and confidence in the weight room.
(1) (2) (3) (4)
(1) Appearance 1.00
(2) Energy 0.45* 1.00
(3) Technique 0.60* 0.54* 1.00
(4) Confidence in ability to use imagery 0.40* 0.27* 0.41* 1.00
(5) Confidence in weight room 0.26* 0.10 0.23* 0.45*
* Correlations significant at 0.05 level.

TABLE 5. Correlations between imagery use and imagery ef- during this time of season to keep the athletes focused.
fectiveness. That out-of-season athletes used imagery less indicates
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) that this is probably a good time to implement some for-
mal imagery training; then when the season comes
Imagery use
around, the athletes can benefit the most from it. Results
(1) Appearance 1.00 showed that those who had imagery training found im-
(2) Energy 0.49* 1.00
(3) Technique 0.67* 0.51* 1.00
agery to be more effective.
Athletes who were more motivated were found to use
Imagery effectiveness imagery more frequently and also found it to be most ef-
(4) Appearance 0.66* 0.36* 0.52* 1.00 fective. Imagery has commonly been believed to have a
(5) Energy 0.28* 0.55* 0.33* 0.27* motivational function (4, 7, 9, 11, 12). Although low levels
(6) Technique 0.44* 0.38* 0.71* 0.44* 0.38*
of motivation could be attributed to a variety of reasons,
* Correlations significant at 0.05 level. maybe imagery could be used to increase them. Future
research could explore this relationship. Interestingly, re-
sults showed that the older the athlete was, the more en-
p ⬍ 0.05); energy (F[2, 292] ⫽ 7.22, p ⬍ 0.05), and tech-
ergy imagery he or she used. Maybe athletes used this
nique (F[2, 292] ⫽ 11.95, p ⬍ 0.05).). Those who were
imagery to motivate themselves? It is also possible that
more confident in their ability to use imagery found im-
because older athletes have spent more time training,
agery to be more effective for energy, technique, and ap-
they may be less concerned with appearance and tech-
pearance (Table 4). In addition, those who were more con-
nique imagery, therefore using energy imagery to get
fident in the weight room felt that imagery was most ef-
through the workouts.
fective (with the exception of energy imagery).
Athletes who used imagery more often were more con-
The final analysis looked at the correlations between
imagery use and effectiveness. As shown in Table 5, those fident. This finding is another reason that strength coach-
who used imagery more often reported it to be more ef- es should implement imagery training into their program.
fective. Although this was the first study to examine this rela-
tionship in weight training, the relationship between im-
DISCUSSION agery use and confidence in sport is well established (9).
Like previous research, it was also shown that athletes
Collegiate athletes who were required to participate in
who were more confident in their ability to image used it
weight training programs used appearance imagery the
more often (18).
most followed by technique imagery and energy imagery.
To date, no one has looked at the effectiveness of ex-
These findings support the previous studies that looked
ercise imagery. Asking the athletes to indicate their per-
at imagery use by exercisers (e.g., aerobics performers,
recreational weightlifters, runners, cardiovascular ma- ceptions of the effectiveness of the images allows us to see
chine users) other than athletes (4, 7, 11). One finding which types of imagery and which images were most ef-
that was slightly different than that of previous studies fective. Results showed appearance imagery to be the
was that men in this study scored higher on all of the most effective, followed by technique imagery and energy.
subscales than women. In previous studies (4, 7), women This means that a strength coach would want to focus on
scored higher on appearance imagery, and men scored appearance imagery and technique imagery while insert-
higher on both technique and energy imagery. A reason ing some energy imagery cues now and then, because
for this difference may be that in previous studies, the they are still used and considered to be beneficial. Such
sample sizes were uneven in that the majority of the sub- cues as ‘‘See yourself being explosive’’ for appearance im-
jects were women. In this study there was close to a 50/ agery, ‘‘Feel yourself bringing your hips through and get-
50 split for gender. If the previous studies had closer men- ting tall’’ for technique imagery, and ‘‘Lock yourself in
to-women ratios, they may have shown that men used and lets get things done today’’ for energy imagery are
appearance imagery more frequently as well. Overall, the suggestions that can help an athlete use exercise imag-
result makes sense because being stronger, more power- ery, probably without their even realizing they are using
ful, and more athletic are common participation motives it.
for these athletes. However, choosing the right image to give to an ath-
Athletes who were in season had higher use of imag- lete is probably more complex. There were gender differ-
ery than those who were out of season at the time of the ences in imagery effectiveness. Men perceived the exer-
study. No study in exercise imagery has looked at this cise imagery subscales to be more effective than women,
variable because recreational exercisers were used, so and for all items men thought the images were more pos-
time of season was not an issue. This result shows that itive or helpful to their performance in the weight room
athletes may use imagery to help keep them focused dur- compared with women. There were only a couple of im-
ing in-season training. A strength coach can take advan- ages that men and women did not differ significantly on
tage of this finding by implementing more imagery cues with respect to effectiveness (‘‘I imagine a more muscular
IMAGERY DURING WEIGHT TRAINING 1081

proportionate/balanced me from lifting weights,’’ ‘‘To take the weight room and which particular images are consid-
my mind off work/class, I imagine lifting weights,’’ and ‘‘I ered to be the most effective under different circumstanc-
imagine a more ‘defined me’ from lifting weights’’). These es (both of which are discussed in more detail in the dis-
images appear to be the ‘‘safest’’ to use with both men cussion section of this paper), thereby allowing strength
and women. However, the taking-my-mind-off-work/class coaches to use imagery in a positive way with their ath-
image was not considered to be very effective. Actually, letes.
for athletes who are low in motivation, any type of im-
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(19). 13. RODGERS, W.M., C.R. HALL, C.M. BLANCHARD, AND K.J. MUNROE. Pre-
diction of obligatory exercise by exercise-related imagery. Psychol. Ad-
Finally, those athletes who were more confident in dict. Behav. 15:152–154. 2001.
their ability to use imagery not only used more imagery 14. RODGERS, W.M., K. MUNROE, AND C. HALL. Relations among exercise
but also found it to be more effective. There was also a imagery, self-efficacy, exercise behavior, and intentions. Imagination
positive relationship between imagery use and imagery Cogn. Pers. 21:55–65. 2001.
15. SHORT, S.E., J.M. BRUGGEMAN, S.G. ENGEL, T.L. MARBACK, L.J. WANG,
effectiveness and confidence in the weight room. Thus, it A. WILLADSEN, AND M.W. SHORT. The effect of imagery function and im-
seems as though imagery is a source of confidence in the agery direction on self-efficacy and performance on a golf-putting task.
weight room, just as it is a source of confidence in sports Sport Psychol. 16:48–67. 2002.
and other domains (1, 3). Future researchers could ex- 16. SHORT, S.E., C.R. HALL, S.R. ENGEL, AND C.R. NIGG. Exercise imagery
and the stages of change. J. Ment. Imagery 28:61–78. 2004.
plore these relationships more thoroughly to see if there 17. SHORT, S.E., E.V. MONSMA, AND M.W. SHORT. Imagery direction of the
are mediating relationships between these variables, as Sport Imagery Questionnaire. J. Mental Imagery (In press).
would be expected according to the model of imagery use 18. SHORT, S.E., A. TENUTE, AND D.L. FELTZ. Imagery use in sport: Media-
tional effects for self-efficacy. J. Sport Sci. 23:951–960. 2005.
(9) and previous research with athletes in sports (3, 18). 19. WEINBERG, R., AND D. GOULD. Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psy-
chology (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2005.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS 20. WHITE, A., AND L. HARDY. An in-depth analysis of the uses of imagery
by high-level slalom canoeists and artistic gymnasts. Sport Psychol. 12:
This study shows that athletes use imagery in the weight 387–403. 1998.
room and find it to be effective. The findings from this 21. WILSON, P.M., W.M. RODGERS, C.R. HALL, AND K.L. GAMMAGE. Do au-
tonomous exercise regulations underpin different types of exercise im-
study extended previous research by showing that imag- agery? J. Appl. Sport Psychol. 15:294–306. 2003.
ery and confidence are related. The applications of this
study are that the findings shed light on how strength Address correspondence to Dr. Sandra E. Short, sandra㛮
coaches should be using imagery with their athletes in short@und.nodak.edu.