Athlete imagery ability: A predictor of confidence and anxiety intensity and direction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

This study investigated whether athletes’ sport imagery ability predicted the intensity and direction of their trait anxiety, and whether trait confidence mediated this relationship. Three-hundred and fifteen male (n = 181) and female (n = 134) athletes (Mage = 19.23; SD = 1.16) completed the Sport Imagery Ability Questionnaire to measure skill, strategy, goal, affect, and mastery ease of imaging, and the Competitive Trait Anxiety Inventory-2 to measure the intensity and direction of cognitive and somatic anxiety and self-confidence. Structural equation modelling supported a model whereby mastery and goal imagery ability positively predicted confidence. This in turn negatively predicted cognitive and somatic anxiety intensity and positively predicted cognitive and somatic anxiety direction. Mastery and goal imagery ability indirectly predicted cognitive and somatic anxiety intensity and direction via self-confidence. However, mastery ease of imaging directly predicted cognitive anxiety intensity. Results demonstrate the importance of mastery and goal imagery ability in regulating confidence and the intensity and direction of anxiety symptoms. Results infer that individuals who are better at seeing themselves achieving goals and performing well in difficult situations are able to reduce the impact of negative images by replacing these with positive ones.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Early online date5 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2015