Evaluation of a mental skills training programme for the Western Australia Baseball Academy

Peter Joseph Norton

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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    Abstract

    This study evaluated the impact of a 7-week mental
    skills training programme delivered to 29 elite youth
    baseball players attending the Western Australia
    Baseball Academy. The mental skills training programme
    focused primarily on six mental skill areas: Planning
    and Analysis; Control of Nerves and Tension; Emotional
    Control; Self-Confidence; Use of Imagery; and
    Concentration. Delivery of the mental skills training
    programme was conducted through weekly group sessions,
    cassette-based homework exercises, on-field assistance
    by mental skills consultants, and the development of
    baseball drills designed to foster the use of specific
    mental skills. Evaluation of the mental skills training
    programme was based on numerous methodological
    suggestions evident in the literature (e.g., Greenspan
    and Feltz, 1989; Vealey, 1994). Between-group analyses
    examined changes over time for the treatment group and a
    placebo control group (n = 26) of age-matched baseball
    players. Within-group analyses explored factors and
    changes that related to levels of compliance to the
    mental skills training programme. Results from the
    between-group analyses indicated a significant positive
    shift by the treatment group along the Stages of Change
    model towards adoption of mental skills training as part
    of their overall baseball training programme, but no
    such change for the control group. Few significant
    changes were observed in either group, however, when
    ability to perform specific mental skills was examined.
    The within-group analyses revealed that compliance with
    the mental skills training programme was significantly
    correlated with Conscientiousness as measured by the NEO
    Personality Inventory. In addition, ratings by the
    coaching staff indicated significant improvement in
    Concentration Ability, Use of Imagery, Self-Confidence,
    and Planning and Analysis, following the mental skills
    training programme. Responses to a Social Validity
    questionnaire indicated strong support for the mental
    skills training programme by the Western Australia
    Baseball Academy coaching staff.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationMasters
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    DOIs
    Publication statusUnpublished - 1996

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