Performance enhancement in swimming: The effect of mental training with biofeedback

M. Bar-Eli, B. Blumenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In this study, the relationship between mental training with biofeedback and swimmers' performance was investigated. The Wingate five-step approach was used as a mental preparation technique for enhancing the performance among 16-18 year-old pre-elite swimmers. Participants (n=40) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (a) experimental - regular training plus the Wingate 5-step mental training program (adapted for swimming), and (b) control - regular training plus relaxing activities. After a baseline measurement, participants were tested on running and swimming five times during a 10-week period. Results indicated that the experimental group improved its performance over time on both running and swimming, with improvement being most substantial during transformation and realisation (steps 4 and 5). In contrast, the control group remained relatively stable on both dependent measures. Results are discussed in reference to previous work on the 5-step approach, including several methodological and theoretical aspects that are particularly relevant to the use of such interventions with other athletic tasks and populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-464
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004


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