Department of Sport Psychology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: Today, One of effective psychological factors in sport is mental toughness that sports psychologists, educators, sports commentators and athletes have all emphasized on their importance in sport performance (Jones et al., 2002; Gucciardi, 2008). Therefore, the aim of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of relaxation technique based on mental imagery on the mental toughness of mountaineers in the Corona pandemic.
Methods: The method of the present research was quasi-experimental with a pretest-posttest design. Paired t-test at the significant level of 0.05 was used to analyze the data. Sampling method was that 24 mountaineers of Mazandaran province (age group 18 to 30 years) were studied in this research. In the pre-test stage; Participants completed the Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire (SMTQ) of Sheard and Golbi (2009). They then performed relaxation exercises based on mental imagery for 8 sessions of 30 minutes (Every other day), and in the post-test stage, they filled out the mental toughness questionnaire again. Finally, the total mental toughness of pre-test and post-test and each of the subscales of confidence, stability and control of pre-test and post-test were compared using SPSS 26 software and paired t-test.
Results: The results showed that the mountaineers' mental toughness scores improved significantly after relaxation exercises. Also, the scores of the participants in the post-test in the two components of reliability and stability compared to the pre-test were significantly improved, but no significant change was observed in the control component of pre-test and post-test of climbers.
Conclusion: According to similar research, many athletes have given up their favorite sport to prevent getting the Corona virus, which lowers their confidence, mental strength and endurance. Therefore, athletes are advised to maintain and even improve their mental abilities by doing relaxing exercises even at home.