Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Performance and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Patricia Beitel

Committee Members

Craig A. Wrisberg, Ralph E. Jones


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an individualized cognitive mental skills intervention program on the performance of two young amateur golfers. Past mental training programs for elite junior athletes have studied skiers (Hellstedt, 1987), tennis players (Davis, 1991; Terry, 1994), table-tennis players (Li-Wei, Qj-Wei, Orlick & Ziztelsberger, 1992), gymnasts (Ravizza & Rotella, 1982), and collegiate golfers (Cohn, Rotella, & Lloyd, 1990). Inquiries as to the adaptability of these former programs into the junior golfing atmosphere sparked an eight- week intervention program and postprogram follow-up interview.

Utilization of both quantitative and qualitative data allowed for an analysis of overt as well as covert processes employed by participants. Intervention sessions, journal entries, observations, parental interviews, and golf instructor interviews were used as sources for qualitative input. Audio-taped interviews and sessions provided for accuracy and personal input. Performance data, i.e., timed preshot routines and game statistics, and self- evaluation manipulation checks (adapted from Martens (1987) & Rotella, (1981)) supplied quantitative results throughout the program.

Results from performance data indicated that some categories of preshot routines and game statistics improved for both participants during the intervention program. Self-evaluation ratings suggested increased confidence for both participants in various mental skills. These self-evaluation ratings implied that improvement in performance outcomes may have been positively affected, not only by practice, but also, by increased confidence in mental skills techniques. In addition, participants and participants' parents provided positive feedback in regard to the intervention program, based on personal involvement and observation, respectively.

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