Enhancing Grit through Functional Imagery Training in Professional Soccer
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Functional Imagery Training (FIT) extends multisensory imagery training by involving athletes with goal setting and appraisal. We measured the effect of FIT on 24 professional soccer players’ grit, a personality trait associated with perseverance for a long-term goal. In a stepped-wedge design an immediate (n=9) and delayed (n=10) group received FIT at week 1 or week 6, and were measured at week 12. A self-selected control group (n=5) received no intervention. The delayed group were also measured at week 6 just before their intervention, and week 18. Grit scores in both intervention groups increased following the intervention, but the control group did not. The delayed group increased in grit between weeks 6 and 12, showing the effectiveness of the intervention over a relatively short timeframe, and continued to improve to week 18. In intervention groups, vividness of goal imagery also increased, and players perceived that FIT improved sports performance.
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