The Effect of an Ecological Imagery Program on Soccer Performance of Elite Players


Tohid Seif-Barghi 2 , Ramin Kordi 2 , Amir-Hossein Memari 1 , , Mohammad-Ali Mansournia 1 , Majid Jalali-Ghomi 3

2 School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

1 Sports Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Seif-Barghi T, Kordi R, Memari A, Mansournia M, Jalali-Ghomi M. The Effect of an Ecological Imagery Program on Soccer Performance of Elite Players, Asian J Sports Med. Online ahead of Print ; 3(2):34703. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34703.


Asian Journal of Sports Medicine: 3 (2); 81-89
Published Online: May 31, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: October 9, 2011
Accepted: December 31, 2011


Purpose: Despite the acknowledged impact of imagery on performance, ecologically sound studies investigating imagery and its effects on performance subcomponents in real games are surprisingly limited. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of imagery training on passing improvement in elite soccer players.

Methods: Sixty nine soccer players taking part in the national championship leagues in four age categories including U16, U19, U21 and over 21 were randomly assigned to the imagery and control groups. Interventional group participants completed an 8 week video-aided, cognitive imagery program on how to make a perfect soccer pass.

Results: Performance analysis through close video analysis showed that successful pass rate increased significantly in the intervention group compared to control (OR = 1.19, P=0.002, 95%CI = 1.06-1.33). Further analysis revealed that the results are statistically significant in U16 and U21 but not other categories.

Conclusions: We concluded that successful soccer passing through real competitions as a multidimensional and critical open skill could be enhanced by an ecologically sound method of mental imagery.

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