Benefits of Mental Practice in Sport Practice
Mental practice (MP) is a form of exercise which has been in existence since 1890, but has only become widespread in sport in the last 22 years. To carry out this review, the four stages identified in the PRISMA statement (identification, selection, eligibility, inclusion) were followed. A search was performed on the databases ERIC, SPORTDiscus, Academic Search Complete and PubMed using the keywords “mental practice and sport”, “kinaesthetic practice and sport”, “mental training and sport”, “mental preparation and sport”, “motor imagery and sport” and “visual practice and sport”. Some articles were using Spanish keywords; “práctica mental y deporte”, “práctica kinestésica y deporte”, “entrenamiento mental y deporte”, “preparación mental y deporte”, “imaginería motora y deporte” and “práctica visual y deporte” . With these searches, a total of 11 390 articles were obtained, which included 59 studies. The exclusion criteria were populations with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, dementia or some type of cancer; not including MP as an independent variable; and combining MP with some kind of incentive. The results found that MP is a good tool for improving pre-competitive anxiety, self-confidence, concentration and motivation. It can also be used for sports rehabilitation and strength development, and a combination of MP and real movements to attain more positive results.