Thomas Simek

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Richard Miller, Leroy Metze, Robert Simpson


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Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In a mental practice study designed to control for the relaxation effects produced by greater familiarity with the task, 36 male high school and college golf team members were trained in one of four conditions. Nine subjects each were placed in: A group trained in simple relaxation, a group trained to visualize calming non-golf scenes, and a group instructed to visualize “good” outcomes to scenes depicting the subject hitting various golf shots. Nine additional subjects were placed in a non-treatment control group. No significant differences were found in performance between any groups in either of the following pre- and post-treatment measurement criteria: 18 hole score and shots at a target 195 yards distant. Results were interpreted to suggest that visualizing calming images was no more effective than visualizing “good” outcomes in reducing performance anxiety during golf swings, and neither condition was superior to simple relaxation procedures. Implications for improvements in training procedures and methodology were discussed.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sports Studies