Evaluation of a mental skills program for serving for an intercollegiate volleyball team

Percept Mot Skills. 2008 Aug;107(1):293-306. doi: 10.2466/pms.107.1.293-306.


A preseason mental skills program for serving was implemented for the 11 members of an intercollegiate volleyball team (M age = 20.0 yr.; SD = 1.1; years of intercollegiate volleyball experience M = 2.6; SD = 0.9). Key mental skills taught were relaxation, imagery, attentional focus, goal setting, behavioral modeling, and performance routine. A videotaped behavioral model articulated and demonstrated technical performance keys to effective serving. Players utilized a three-phase service routine to increase automaticity of performance and to incorporate key mental skills. End-of-season reported use of imagery was significantly correlated with Good Serve Percentage, as was reported use of a service routine. The mean Good Serve Percentage for the season was 49% (SD=7); the team goal was 50%. Serve-specific self-efficacy significantly increased from the pretraining program to the end of the season. Results indicated that implementing the mental skills training program was associated with enhanced service performance.

MeSH terms

  • Aptitude
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Volleyball / education*
  • Volleyball / psychology*