Jonathan Rhodes wins the University of Plymouth's post graduate 'Images of Research 2019' exhibition with a powerful presentation of Functional Imagery Training helping increase resilience in professional football players:

Sat in a coffee shop I sip my warm drink which cues my imagery. 

I hear the crowd for a second, then they disappear as my attention

is drawn to the birds flying overhead, then I quieten my thoughts. 

I gaze to the posts, pick my spot, then back to the ball. 

I remind myself that I’ve done this thousands of times.Thousands. 

I feel the drum beat of my heart as I breathe out.

I imagine the three steps I’ll take to the ball. 

I feel my right foot powerfully planting with my right hand pointing at the

target and my forward-facing hips. 

I feel the compact contact on the sweet spot as I snap forwards.

I imagine the parabolic flight path and feel success fill my whole body.

It’s not relief, it’s a feeling of contribution...

I realise I’m sat in a coffee shop.


Our trial of FIT for weight loss has been published in the International Journal of Obesity. Participants who received FIT lost 5 times as much weight as those who received an active control group. This finding has generated a lot of media interest. You can read the University of Plymouth press release here.



Jon Rhodes and Jon May's paper on enhancing the resilience of members of a professional football team has now been published in The Sports Psychologist.

They measured the effect of FIT on 24 players’ grit, a personality trait associated with perseverance for a long-term goal. In a stepped-wedge design, an immediate (n = 9) and a delayed (n = 10) group received FIT at Week 1 or 6 and were measured at Week 12. A self-selected control group (n = 5) received no intervention. The delayed group was also measured at Week 6 just before their intervention, and at Week 18. Grit scores in both intervention groups increased after the intervention, but the control group’s did not. The delayed group increased in grit between Weeks 6 and 12, showing the effectiveness of the intervention over a relatively short time, and continued to improve to Week 18. In the intervention groups, vividness of goal imagery also increased and players perceived that FIT improved sport performance.

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