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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Glen Albaugh

First Committee Member

Christopher R. Snell

Second Committee Member

S. Thomas Stubbs


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of listening to mastery rehearsal audio tapes and mental readiness prior to practice and meets. Eleven members of the Modesto Junior College Swim Team were given instructions to create individual mastery tapes. The swimmers were to use the tapes before every practice and meet for six weeks, at which time the subjects were interviewed. A combination of an interview guide and standardized open-ended interview was used to examine the experiences of the swimmers using the tapes. Qualitative methodology was used to inductively analyze the interview transcripts. From the raw data collected, eight high order themes were categorized into three general dimensions that were experienced by swimmers both before practice and meets. The three general dimensions include: positive mental attitude; maintaining appropriate focus; and heightened arousal. Maintaining appropriate focus and heightened arousal before meets were the highest shared dimensions experienced by ninety-one percent of the swimmers. The second highest shared dimension was that of maintaining mental attitude before practice, expressed by eighty-two percent of the swimmers.

Mastery tapes appear very powerful in the development of imagery. One hundred percent of the swimmers expressed the tape helped enhance their imagery. Negative factors including frustrations and improvement suggestions were also discussed to provide the reader with important information for future use of mastery tapes.

The strength of this study was the rich description of experience discussed by the subject. From this description the study emphasized the importance of developing preperformance routines structured for each individual athlete.



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