Research question:

"Discuss the view that PETTLEP imagery can be an effective way of enhancing the performance of sports skills."


            Homes and Collins' (2001) introduced an imagery model which provides a framework for the effective implementation of the imagery interventions. The components of the PETTLEP imagery model include physical, environmental, task, timing, learning, emotion, and perspective. All these components play an essential role in enhancing sports skills. According to Anuaret al. (2020), this visual imagery component helps in building the strengths of the sportsmen. Besides this, it also aids in eliminating the weaknesses and in competing with the competitors efficiently. Introducing this imagery model in sports is a foremost thing, and it also helps regulate anxiety and lets the athletes stay confident, focused, and mentally challenging. So, this is how the PETTLEP imagery model takes part in improving sports skills. Multiple empirical pieces of research are present that highlight the importance of this model in the sports industry, and this imaging technique is also highly effective in sports psychology intervention (Wakefield et al., 2020; Rhodes et al., 2020). But some of the researchers also criticised this model due to the lack of the theoretical and empirical base in the scientific studies (Alikhani, 2019). The critical essay aims to discuss PETTLEP imagery and its role in improving sports performance. It will discuss the theoretical accounts of motivation and group dynamics, the effectiveness of the psychological functioning, implications, and the cognitive and ecological approaches.

Critical analysis:

            Athletes and coaches have extensively used PETTLEP imagery of motor skills. The principle of this model depends on the functional equivalence neurophysiological process and underpins both the imagery and the actual movement. According to Wakefield et al. 2020 PETTLEP model is used to improve cognitive functioning and the dynamics of the sport by ensuring that the imagery in the model is close to the actual movement in the sports. All the seven components of this model take part in improving sports skills. The first component is physical, which performs its role in enhancing the physical movements of the athletes. In this case, the imagery is more effective, especially when the functional equivalence is high, which contributes to modelling the same characteristics' adequate performance (Lu et al., 2020). According to the research of Alexander et al. (2019), the physical component must have the kinaesthetic response in it, as this will improve the functional equivalence of the sports performance. For example, a relay runner can improve its performance by using this model by performing the imagery in a standing position and keeping the baton. Following these postures using the imagery will help enhance sports performance and exercise along with the effectiveness of functional equivalence.

            Moreover, the environment component models the physical area around. Here, in this case, the motor representations must be assessed by imaging the performance same as the actual performing environment. Response training will help in improving this skill and in better positioning of the objects. The same is the case with the task component and needs to be closely linked with the actual task. Here the task must be specific to the actions of the performer for better skill development. Some researchers also focused that if the imagery actions are presented in slow motion, the athlete can experience the movement entirely. According to Baughman (2017) precise timing is highly required for the skill development and execution of specific skills during the exercise.

            The fifth component is the learning component which refers to the adaptation of imagery content concerning learning. In this case, the performer's skill level changes from cognitive to autonomously, due to which their motor representations change. It will result in the improvement of sports performance. The emotional component is the foremost thing in the PETTLEP model as it contributes to the management of anxiety and stress during sports performance. Achieving the functional equivalence, in this case, is not easy as the athlete must be experiencing all the emotions and arousal linked to that athlete's performance. According to the clinical, theoretical model of psychology, emotional responses contribute to optimal behavioural change (Tahmasebi Boroujeni et al., 2021). This experience of emotions highly contributes to promoting the functional equivalence of the interventions. Imagery performs its role in enhancing the imagery practice and in adapting to unwanted feelings.

            The last component of the imagery model is perspective and refers to the strategy by which the imagery is reviewed. Different form-based skills can be improved by using this model and contribute to better performance and orientation. Overall, all the components of the PEETLEP imagery model contribute to improving the performance of the individuals. It is also a better approach to skill development compared to traditional techniques. Different empirical studies are also analysing the effectiveness of the PEETLEP model to see its impact on the performance and skills of the sportsmen (Simonsmeier et al., 2020).

            The theoretical psychology model suggests that imagery is a critical psychological skill that contributes to enhancing performance and skill development (Smith et al., 2020). Also, the PETTLEP model has been extensively used in applied sports psychology, and visualisation based methods in the approach are compelling enough for skill development. Also, Chamanian et al. (2018) dictates that this model is as effective as the physical practice. One of the research studies finds out a positive correlation between the PEETLEP model and sports performance. It also reduces the conditions of fatigue, boredom, or injury. One of the research conducted by Rhodes et al. 2020 also supported the use of the PETTLEP model of imagery. The diversity of this imagery model suggests the importance of and the usefulness of the PETTLEP model. According to the theoretical perspective, this model is highly applied in nature and has various practical implications. The proper planning of the visual imagery model will help in the better performance of the athletes. It is a supportive model and helps in effectively dealing with cognitive complexity. All these components are evidence that this model has various practical applications helpful in developing sports skills (Cherappurath et al., 2020).

            The primary purpose of the PETTLEP imagery model is to improve the accuracy of pitch shots and enhance the participants' imagery ability. One research was also conducted by Fajar et al. (2018) stating that the golfer's pitch accuracy improves using the PEETLEP imagery intervention. The golf shot also improves by using this intervention. This imagery pillar of intervention has multiple benefits and helps recreate the image in mind by utilising all the senses. The theoretical principle of this model is that it involves an improvement of the cognitive specific, cognitive general, motivational specific, general arousal, and self-confidence, focus, and control (Pocock et al., 2019). The theoretical model of general motivational arousal suggests that it improves stress, arousal, and anxiety. Imagery has long-term applications in sports and applies in both the internal and the external perspectives. According to the research of Hashmi et al. (2020), the PETTLEP model of imagery helps in skill learning, performance preview, confidence, stress management, and injury recovery. All these factors help in improving the performance and competitiveness of sportspeople.

            Different forms of imagery models can be used in improving the skills of the sports in the form of scripts, audio recordings, and video and image components. One of the research was also conducted by Herrera-Velásquez & Gómez Maquet (2020) who finds that both the cognitive and the video imagery highly takes part in improving the throwing performance of the basketball pitchers. Using all these imagery models helps in enhancing sports performance and the development of skills. One of the researches on the imagery measures indicated that it is a valid and reliable approach to better assess sports skills. The investment of practice can also be improved by introducing the imagery ability. Accuracy measures of the PEETLEP model indicate that this approach is the best option for both open and closed skilled sports. According to Khan et al. (2018) the skills that are required for available professional sports are perceptual and outwardly pace. This psychological perspective dictates that the PEETLEP model highly takes part in improving the psychological attributes and influencing the performance of the sportsmen.

            One of the research also reported that the elite roller skaters also use this imagery model to improve anxiety and enhance self-confidence (Munroe-Chandler & Guerrero, 2017). It will also enhance the cognitive and motivational imagery ability of the sportsmen. PETTLEP model of imagery has various implications, especially in improving the performance and mental development of the sportsmen. The evaluation of the PETTLEP imagery model indicates that it is a way much better approach than the traditional intervention. Also, the framework plays its role in improving the functions and the performance of gymnastics. One of the researches finds a clear difference between pre-performance routines and the post-performance routines of the sportsmen (Lu et al., 2018). Visualising the sports acts results in improving the performance of the sportsmen. Research finds out that the physical and the envious PETTLEP elements help predict the athletes' sports imagery ability. This model highly takes part in influencing the performance of athletes by shaping their cognitive functioning.

            The neuroscience researchers reported that the PETTLEP approach helps develop interventions that improve the functional equivalence and cognitive performance of the sportsmen. Most sports psychologists use this short-term intervention to assess the varying cognitive complexity in the athletes. The primary uses of imagery that enhances the performance of athletes associates with conveying emotions, suggesting ideas, and mentally evoking the experience. One neuroscience study highlights that the PETTLEP model helps in the effective management of the decrease and the increase in arousal. Also, it helps in developing the confidence and ability to control emotions. It also helps in replacing the negative behaviours of the sportsmen with the positive ones (Majlesi, 2021). The two elements of the imagery that assist in ecological and cognitive development are somatic response and the image's meaning.


To conclude, the PETTLEP model finds an extensive range of practical recommendations based on its components. In the physical component, the athlete must stay in the correct stance during the sports performance. While in the element of the environment, the athlete must assume to stay in the same environment where the game will be performed. The task must be identical to the task of the sports that is actually about to be executed. It determines the skill level of the athlete changes in a better competitive manner. At the same time, imagery must be consistent with the actual time required to participate in the sports. It will help the athlete in the time management and physical performance of the sportsmen. Adjusting the timing contributes to improving the performance and efficiency. Then comes the emotion component, which states that the imagery must have emotions by using both stimulus and response training. Perspective can be improved by analysing polishing the internal view along with the motivation and confidence in sports (McNeill et al., 2020).

            Researchers face many ethical issues to address in the essay and dealing with these issues is way more challenging. These issues need to be kept in mind for improving the validity and effectiveness of the report. The researchers commonly face ethical challenges are honesty and integrity, objectivity, carefulness, openness, intellectual property, legality, responsible publication, and confidentiality (Clark-Kazak, 2017). All these ethical issues are of great importance as it improves the principal validity and the objectivity of the essay. Other than this, these ethical issues also control the conflict of interest that might arise in research-based writing. Reporting the results honestly is another challenge faced by the researchers. Research ethics aims to effectively expand the knowledge and support the values of mutual respect and fairness. All these ethical considerations will also improve the accountability of the actions and increase the research's responsibility and legality. So, adherence to these ethical considerations is not an easy job to do and requires many challenges.


Anuar, N., Williams, S.E. and Cumming, J., 2017. Do the physical and environment PETTLEP elements predict sport imagery ability?. European journal of sport science17(10), pp.1319-1327.

Alikhani, H., 2019. Effect of Different Time Scheduling of PETTLEP Imagery on The Dart Throw Performance and Learning: Study The Role of Sleep Mediation. Sport Psychology Studies8(28), pp.27-42.

Alexander, D.M., Hutt, E.A., Lefebvre, J.S. and Bloom, G.A., 2019. Using imagery to enhance performance in powerlifting: a review of theory, research, and practice. Strength & Conditioning Journal41(6), pp.102-109.

Baughman, L., 2017. The Effect Of A PETTLEP Imagery Intervention-Based Pre-Performance Routine On Golfer's Short-Game Performance.

Clark-Kazak, C., 2017. Ethical considerations: Research with people in situations of forced migration. Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees/Refuge: revue canadienne sur les réfugiés33(2), pp.11-17.

Chamanian, R., Rafei Brojeni, M., Nezakat-Alhoseini, M. and Salehi, H., 2018. Effect of PETTLEP Mental Imagery and Physical Practice on Pre-motor and Motor Parts of Simple and Choice Reaction Time. Motor Behavior10(31), pp.17-38.

Cherappurath, N., Elayaraja, M., Kabeer, D.A., Anjum, A., Vogazianos, P. and Antoniades, A., 2020. PETTLEP imagery and tennis service performance: an applied investigation. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity15(1).

Fajar, M., Saputra, Y.M. and Mulyana, M., 2018. Imagery model and sport confidence on karate kata motion skills. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Sports Science, Health and Physical Education (pp. 111-116).

Herrera-Velásquez, D.A. and Gómez Maquet, Y., 2020. The Effect of an Imagery Training Intervention on Self-confidence in Football Players. Pensamiento Psicológico18(2), pp.30-42.

Hashmi, S., Akhtar, T. and Hashmi, M., 2020. Effects of PETTLEP imagery technique on precision skills: a study on drag flick in Pakistan hockey. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity15(1).

Khan, T.K.A., Mazli, A.M. and Hashim, A., 2018. The effects of PETTLEP and traditional imagery interventions on netball players shooting accuracy. Jurnal Sains Sukan & Pendidikan Jasmani7(2), pp.53-60.

Lu, F.J., Gill, D.L., Lee, Y.C., Chiu, Y.H., Liu, S. and Liu, H.Y., 2020. Effects of visualized PETTLEP imagery on the basketball 3-point shot: A comparison of internal and external perspectives. Psychology of Sport and Exercise51, p.101765.

Majlesi, S., 2021. The Effect of Video Imagery Training on Soccer Skills Performance of High School Players. Psychology and Education Journal58(1), pp.3184-3194.

McNeill, E., Toth, A.J., Harrison, A.J. and Campbell, M.J., 2020. Cognitive to physical performance: a conceptual model for the role of motor simulation in performance. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology13(1), pp.205-230.

Munroe-Chandler, K.J. and Guerrero, M.D., 2017. Psychological imagery in sport and performance. In Oxford research encyclopedia of psychology.

Pocock, C., Dicks, M., Thelwell, R.C., Chapman, M. and Barker, J.B., 2019. Using an imagery intervention to train visual exploratory activity in elite academy football players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology31(2), pp.218-234.

Rhodes, J., May, J. and Booth, A., 2020. Penalty success in professional soccer: a randomised comparison between imagery methodologies. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity15(1).

Smith, D., Romano-Smith, S., Wright, D.J., Deller-Rust, B. and Wakefield, C.J., 2020. The effects of combining PETTLEP imagery and action observation on bicep strength: a single-case design. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology32(4), pp.377-391.

Simonsmeier, B.A., Androniea, M., Buecker, S. and Frank, C., 2020. The effects of imagery interventions in sports: a meta-analysis. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, pp.1-22.

Tahmasebi Boroujeni, S., Ahmadi Kakavandi, M., Qeysari, S.F. and Shahrbanian, S., 2021. Effect of PETTLEP Imagery and Physical Training on the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Memory Function in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. scientific journal of ilam university of medical sciences28(6), pp.12-22.

Wakefield, C.J., Smith, D., Hogard, E., Ellis, R. and Parry, C., 2020. Using PETTLEP imagery as a simulation technique in nursing: Research and guidelines. Nurse education in practice43, p.102700.



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