This study investigated the effectiveness of a BMX specific Motor Imagery (MI) programme on simulated race performance. MI is defined as the visualisation of motor activities in the absence of physical movement and has been demonstrated to be effective for a variety of outcomes. However, to date, the transfer of MI has not been adequately evaluated in cycling specific settings. Therefore, using a crossover study, 13 sub-elite BMX riders (11 male, 2 female; age 19.2 ± 3.5 years, height 1.74 ± 0.06 m) undertook four weeks (80 min / week) MI training, in addition to normal BMX training, with a week washout between conditions. Pre and post MI training, track testing was conducted that included vertical jump and three BMX time-trials. Our data presented no significant improvement in riders’ finish time following MI training in any of the three races (p >.05), but showed a slight improvement trend. Despite this, relative peak power significantly improved following MI practice compared to the baseline and control conditions (p <.01). As a BMX rider’s final placing is often decided by a fraction of a second, coaches and practitioners may benefit from including MI in their training programme to improve riders’ performance; however, more research is needed with different competitive levels to test this hypothesis.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - Jan 2021|