What is it about?

We compared a control condition, PETTLEP (physical, environmental, task, timing, learning, emotion, perspective) with an imagery-based behavioural change intervention, Functional Imagery Training (FIT), and assessed long-term effectiveness for enhancing professional soccer player’s penalty kick taking. The imagery interventions lasted for one week and all groups asked to practice as normal. There were no differences in penalty kick scores at baseline, but both imagery groups significantly enhanced performance one week later. After 15 weeks, the players were retested and at that point the PETTLEP group returned to baseline scores whilst the FIT group maintained penalty improvements seen at week one.

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Why is it important?

Imagery is effective in improving penalty kick taking, but PETTLEP does not support long-term change, whereas the motivational approach of FIT does.


The PETTLEP model is one of the most cited forms of imagery training to enhance sporting performance, but there is limited evidence for its long-term effectiveness and it is often compared to non-imagery controls rather than other imagery techniques. FIT is designed for long-term behaviour change, so the results support the use of motivational meetings to enhance intrinsic motivation.

Jonathan Rhodes
University of Plymouth

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Penalty success in professional soccer: a randomised comparison between imagery methodologies, Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, October 2020, De Gruyter,
DOI: 10.1515/jirspa-2020-0014.
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