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Benefits of Combined Mental and Physical Training in Learning a Complex Motor Skill in Basketball

Author(s): Andrea Gaggioli | Luca Morganti | Maurizio Mondoni | Alessandro Antonietti

Journal: Psychology
ISSN 2152-7180

Volume: 04;
Issue: 09;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Motor Learning | Motor Imagery | Mental Practice | Sport Performance | Complex Motor Skills

Previous research in sport psychology and rehabilitation suggests that training with motor imagery (mental practice) is a potentially effective strategy to improve motor performance. The goal of the present study was to investigate the benefits of combining mental and physical training in learning a complex motor skill in basketball (the lay-up shot). To this end, sixty female university students were randomly assigned to either mental practice with physical training, or physical training alone. Motor performance was assessed before and after a four-week training period. To assess motor learning performance, a video analysis was carried out by three independent raters on the motor task before and after the training in both conditions. Results showed that mental practice condition improved coordination and movement accuracy, suggesting the potential effectiveness of this approach in training complex motor skills; furthermore, findings indicate the feasibility and accuracy of using video-based analysis of movement in the assessment of motor performance improvements.

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