Performance enhancement in swimming: the effect of mental training with biofeedback

Author: Bar-Eli M//Blumenstein B
Department of Business Administration, School of Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Conference/Journal: J Sci Med Sport
Date published: 2004
Other: Volume ID: 7 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 454-64 , Word Count: 155

In this study, the relationship between mental training with biofeedback and swimmers' performance was investigated. The Wingate five-step approach was used as a mental preparation technique for enhancing the performance among 16-18 year-old pre-elite swimmers. Participants (n = 40) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (a) experimental--regular training plus the Wingate 5-step mental training program (adapted for swimming), and (b) control--regular training plus relaxing activities. After a baseline measurement, participants were tested on running and swimming five times during a 10-week period. Results indicated that the experimental group improved its performance over time on both running and swimming, with improvement being most substantial during transformation and realisation (steps 4 and 5). In contrast, the control group remained relatively stable on both dependent measures. Results are discussed in reference to previous work on the 5-step approach, including several methodological and theoretical aspects that are particularly relevant to the use of such interventions with other athletic tasks and populations.