Difference in Imagery use between Full-contact and Limited contact sports

  • Alberto Filgueiras Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6668-0606
  • Gabriela Hora Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Adriana Lacerda Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
  • Yago Carioca Baltar Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
  • Bruno Pantanal Barreto Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
  • Raquel Melo Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
  • Leonardo Rosa Habib Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
  • Paulo Sergio Ribeiro Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro


Imagery is a set of techniques used in sport psychology to help athletes to improve skill performance, to boost motivation, to increase emotional management and to facilitate motor learning. Evidence suggests that individual differences explain the frequency of imagery use in sport. However, recent studies suggest that imagery is also linked to types of sport. The present study aimed to understand whether elite athletes from Full-contact and Limited contact sports differ regarding imagery use. The research had 199 participants divided in Full-contact (N=85) and Limited contact (N=114) sport categories. Demographics and frequency of imagery use were collected. A Canonical Discriminant Analysis was performed to assess the level of group discrimination each variable presented. Results suggested that Full-contact elite athletes train for more hours and use Cognitive Specific imagery more frequently than Limited contact professional athletes; whereas, this last group had significantly more sport psychologists working for them and higher frequency of Motivational Specific and Cognitive General imagery use. These findings altogether provide evidence that differences in imagery use can be also explained by sport categories, and sport psychologists must be aware of the particularities of each type of sport.
Psicología del Deporte