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Effects of Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation on Intercollegiate Tennis Performance

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Abstract

The study investigated the effects of flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation (REST) with an imagery message on the competitive performance of intercollegiate tennis players (10 men, 10 women). Pre- and posttreatment athletic performance was measured during intercollegiate competition. Posttreatment results indicated that subjects exposed to flotation REST with an imagery message performed significantly better than subjects exposed to imagery only on a measure of first service accuracy. Findings suggest that flotation REST can be used to enhance the performance of a well learned skill by athletes of high ability.
... Hlavním předpokladem možnosti kombinovat imaginaci s fl oatingem tedy je, že relaxační prostředí fl oatingu je schopné vytvořit ideální podmínky pro vznik kvalitních, jedincem řízených představ. K pozitivním vlivům této kombinace se vyjadřuje několik studií (Barabasz, 1982;Barabasz et al., 1993;Lee & Hewitt, 1987;McAleney, Barabasz & Barabasz, 1990). ...
... Např. tenis (McAleney, Barabasz & Barabasz, 1990), u kterého výsledky v posttestu ukázaly, že tenisté, kteří podstoupili fl oating v kombinaci s imaginací, podávali signifi kantně lepší výkon než skupina pouze s imaginací, což bylo hodnoceno na základě objektivních ukazatelů a výpovědí trenérů. ...
... Z dosavadních výsledků je tedy patrné, že procvičování motorické dovednosti v imaginaci má na reálný výkon pozitivní vliv, a je tudíž lepší než žádné procvičování (Barabazs et al., 1993;Lee & Hewitt, 1987;McAleney, Barabasz, Barabasz, 1990;Suedfeld & Bruno, 1990). ...
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E. Lukasová je toho názoru, že existují zvláštní místa a stavy, jež umožní zřetelněji zaslechnout hlas vlastního svědomí. Místa, která filtrují vnější rušivé podněty a obracejí pozornost do našeho nitra. Takovými léčivými místy a stavy jsou meditace, relaxace, ticho a samota. Umělci i terapeuté vědí, že jsou zážitky, které okáží povzbudit mysl člověka. A právě terapeuté příležitostně, při konfliktech odnot, při nejistotě v rozhodování, ambivalenci a hledání cesty, doporučují, aby člověk šel do pustiny, houpal se na mořských vlnách nebo se díval v noci na oblohu. Samota a redukce přemíry vnějších podnětů může člověku nabídnout konfrontaci s tím, co je podstatné. Může zvýšit jeho nepohodlí, a tak poukázat na to, co je smysluplné. To vše nabízí právě technika omezené zevní stimulace. (léčebné využití terapie tmou a floatingu)
... Corresponding positive effects have been reported for the floating form of REST (e.g., [14][15][16][17][18]). Several studies (e.g., [18][19][20][21]) provide strong support for the contention that the flotation-isolation procedure reinforces aspects of "imagery," a prerequisite to the creative process [22]. At the same time, these effects may also be regarded as an expression of a primary process domination [23][24][25]. ...
... At the same time, these effects may also be regarded as an expression of a primary process domination [23][24][25]. Flotation REST has been applied within a sports psychology context in order to attain a more effective control over the negative consequences of stress, to reinforce various visualization techniques, and to improve the restitution process following training bouts and competition [18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]. ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate if experiences induced by flotation-REST (in flotation-tank) are affected by settings or subjects earlier experiences of altered states of consciousness (ASC). No such significant differences were found. Significant effects owing to flotation-REST were found regarding reduction in experienced pain and enhancement of mood. Flotation-REST was considered a pleasurable technique. Different kinds of visual and acoustic effects, altered time perception, and a sense of weightlessness have been reported. Also, deep transpersonal experiences were quite common, and could be distinguished into three types: experiences of one's own childbirth/delivery; feeling of cosmic unity; and experiences of losing contact with the body or out-of-body experiences. Flotation-REST must be regarded as a consciousness-altering method with promising potential for clinical and therapeutic use.
... F. Barabasz, 1982, in press). REST combined with imagery training can produce significant improvements in athletic performance (McAleney, A. F. Barabasz & M. Barabasz, 1990;Lee & Hewitt, 1987). Lee and Hewitt (1987) employed multiple REST sessions with novice and intermediate competitive gymnasts and found improvement on the basis of judges' ratings of performance. ...
... Lee and Hewitt (1987) employed multiple REST sessions with novice and intermediate competitive gymnasts and found improvement on the basis of judges' ratings of performance. Only one controlled investigation of improved athletic performance by REST has been completed with expert players, these being tennis players studied by McAleney, A. F. Barabasz, and M. Barabasz (1990) who reported significant improvement in first service winners in actual intercollegiate competition. Now, the present study focused on expert collegiate basketball players to provide a test of the effects of REST and imagery on both objective and subjective measures of performance. ...
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22 expert collegiate basketball players were exposed to either imagery training only or restricted environmental stimulation (REST) with imagery training. The REST group showed significantly better performance on both objective game performance and coaches' blind ratings.
... In several studies, flotation REST has been combined with visual imagery training, or used as a pre-competition strategy and resulted in subsequent positive outcomes. Significant improvements to basketball free-throw shooting (Suedfeld & Bruno, 1990;Wagaman, Barabasz, & Barabasz, 1991), tennis firstserving percentage (McAleney, Barabasz, & Barabasz, 1990), archer accuracy (Norlander et al., 1999) and rifle marksmanship (Barabasz, Barabasz, & Bauman, 1993) have all been attributed to the benefits associated with the psychological and muscle relaxation attained during flotation REST. ...
Article
Relaxation techniques and napping are very popular strategies amongst elite athletes recovering from the psychophysiological demands of training and competition. The current study examined a novel relaxation technique using restricted environmental stimulation therapy in a flotation tank (FLOAT). FLOAT involves reducing the level of environmental stimulation while achieving a sense of near weightlessness through floating in an enclosed, warm, saline-dense water tank. Sixty elite, international-level athletes (28 male, 32 female) across a range of 9 sports, completed a ∼45 min FLOAT session following exercise training for their sport. Pre and post FLOAT, athletes filled out a multidimensional mood-state questionnaire (MDMQ) containing 16 mood-state variables as well as a question on perceived muscle soreness. Group data were analysed for pre to post FLOAT for all measured variables. Further analyses were performed on all variables for athletes that napped during FLOAT (n = 27) and compared to those that did not nap (n = 33). A single FLOAT session significantly enhanced 15 of the 16 mood-state variables (p < 0.05) and also lowered perceived muscle soreness (p < 0.01). Small (n = 3) to moderate (n = 6) effect sizes in favour of napping for 9 of the 16 mood-state variables were found when compared to the no nap group. FLOAT may be an effective tool for both physical and psychological recovery following training in elite athletes. Furthermore, napping in combination with FLOAT may provide additional benefits to enhance certain mood-state variables. This study serves as a pilot study for future research into the performance recovery of elite athletes following FLOAT.
... They described feeling slow during 22 training sessions, and sometimes performing below their standard level of performance which 23 implies that the acute effects of flotation-REST were potentially debilitative to performance. 24Although previous research has shown performance enhancements in sports after flotation-25 REST (e.g.,McAleney et al., 1990;Wagaman et al., 1991) the findings from the present 1 study indicate that it could be of interest for further research to explore during which phase of 2 training programs and competition preparations flotation-REST would be most effective. The 3athletes also reported reflecting more on how they felt at practice after flotation-REST and 4 one athlete reported that their coach at one practice had suggested that they might feel tired 5 physically. ...
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Research has highlighted flotation-REST as a promising method for relaxation and performance enhancement in sport; however, to further evaluate the use of flotation-REST in an athletic environment, additional research is warranted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six elite track and field athletes about their experiences and perceived effects of flotation-REST. Athletes were interviewed twice; once for their immediate response and again to explore their perceptions of flotation-REST over time. The data was analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Flotation-REST was perceived as pleasant and relaxing. Five athletes reported less stress and an overall increase in well-being for one or two days afterwards, although they felt physically tired during training sessions. Being in a better mood, placing fewer demands on themselves, and feeling more optimistic and present were also perceived effects. This study shows the potential of flotation-REST as a technique for health promotion, stress management, and a means to practise mindfulness.
Article
Mental Imagery (MI), which can be defined as the brain’s ability to recreate motor experiences in the absence of actual actions, is a mental strategy commonly used by tennis players and coaches in the context of learning and performance. The purpose of this review was to examine the MI use, interventions and effects on the performance of tennis players. Preferred reporting items for reviews and meta-analyses guidelines were employed and research studies were collected via SCOPUS, PubMed, PsycINFO, Science Direct and Google Scholar, in English and French, from the earliest record up to August 2021. Forty-one studies met the inclusion criteria. This review (number 2020-05-87) resulted in a wide variety of MI use in tennis and its beneficial effects, whatever the level or age of the players. MI interventions generally improve motor performance, motivational or affective outcomes. Moreover, MI is frequently combined with other mental skills and integrated in pre-performance routines including breathing, positive self-talk, and/or concentration. This study also highlighted the weak representation of female tennis players that’s why future research is needed to better explore the gender effect in MI interventions in tennis. Overall, MI appears to be beneficial for players, whatever their age or level, and should be incorporated in training programs. Practical implications are discussed.
Article
Purpose: The aim of the present investigation was to determine whether a one-hour floatation-REST session could augment recovery from high-intensity resistance exercise (6 x10 back squats, 2 minutes rest) known to induce significant metabolic, adrenergic, and mechanical stress. Methods: Eleven healthy resistance-trained males (age: 22.5 ± 2.3 years; height: 176.4 ± 6.0 cm; weight: 85.7 ± 6.2 kg, back squat 1RM: 153.1 ± 20.1 kg; strength to weight ratio: 1.8 ± 0.2) completed the within-subjects, cross-over controlled study design. Participants completed two exercise testing blocks separated by a two-week washout. In one block, the high-intensity resistance exercise protocol was followed by a one-hour floatation-REST session, while recovery in the alternate block consisted of a passive sensory-stimulating control. Markers of metabolic stress, neuroendocrine signaling, structural damage, inflammation, and perceptions of soreness, mood state and fatigue were assessed over a 48-hour recovery window. Results: Floatation-REST significantly attenuated muscle soreness across recovery (p = 0.035) with greatest treatment difference immediately following the intervention (p = 0.002, ES = 1.3). Significant differences in norepinephrine (p = 0.028, ES = 0.81) and testosterone (p = 0.028, ES = 0.81) immediately following treatment revealed modification of neuroendocrine signaling pathways which were accompanied by greater improvements in mood disturbance (p = 0.029, ES = 0.81) and fatigue (p = 0.001, ES = 1.04). Conclusions: As no adverse effects and significant and meaningful benefits were observed, floatation-REST may prove a valuable intervention for managing soreness and enhancing performance readiness following exercise.
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of flotation REST upon skilled and less skilled golfers’ anxiety in terms of physiological indicators of stress, self-rated anxiety scores, muscle tension, and the effect on golf putting. Prior to performing the putting task participants underwent a treatment of flotation REST or a period of resting in an armchair. Participants completed both treatments in a randomized order with a two-week interval. The results showed that both flotation REST and the armchair treatment reduced systolic blood pressure and heart rate, with no differences between treatments or athlete skill levels. No significant differences between treatments were revealed regarding self-ratings, level of muscle tension or putting precision. The results indicate that flotation REST may be useful for reducing negative symptoms related to stress and anxiety in general; however, no support for direct positive effects on golf performance were found.
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Modern clinical uses of hypnosis often deal with pathology. Prophylatic uses to improve normal human functioning and performance are only occasionally addressed. This author proposes two methods, cognitive rehearsal and arousal level control, which may be achieved through hypnosis to enhance human performance. Two case reports are presented to illustrate the uses of cognitive rehearsal through neuromotor facilitation and arousal level control using numerical posthypnotic cues. Biofeedback is also discussed to provide further information relative to these methods.