Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 9, 2019

Examining the Effectiveness of a PETTLEP Imagery Intervention on the Football Skill Performance of Novice Athletes

ebrahim norouzi ORCID logo, Rasool Norouzi Seyed Hossini, Mohammad Sadegh Afroozeh, Mohammad Vaezmosavi, Markus Gerber, Uwe Puehse and Serge Brand


While imagery techniques have been included in most psychological skills training programs for elite athletes, only few studies have investigated the effects of various components of imagery such as physical, environmental, tasking, timing, learning, emotion, and perspective (PETTLEP) in the context of motor learning among novice athletes. We tested whether external PETTLEP imagery and internal PETTLEP imagery were able to improve football pass skill acquisition more than a control condition, and thus enhance motor learning among novice players. A total of 45 male adolescent novice players (M = 14.65 years, SD = 1.34) were randomly assigned to the following three study conditions: external PETTLEP imagery, internal PETTLEP imagery, and a control condition. At the beginning, and four weeks after randomization, football pass skill performance was measured objectively. Football pass skill performance improved over time in all groups, but more so in the external PETTLEP imagery and internal PETTLEP imagery condition compared to the control condition. At the retention-test, the highest pass skill performance was observed in the external PETTLEP imagery condition. The findings suggest that among adolescent novice football players, compared to internal PETTLEP imagery and a control condition, external PETTLEP imagery led to the highest improvement in football pass skill performance. The PETTLEP imagery thus appears to have the potential to enhance the gross motor skills acquisition of novice athletes who seek to become elite players.

Funding statement: The current study was carried out without external funding.


We thank Robyn Cody (University of Basel, Switzerland) for proofreading the manuscript.

  1. Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Published Online: 2019-10-09

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