Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physical Education


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of physical, mental-physical, and mental practice on learning a motor skill; one hand free throw shooting. The following procedure was implied: Forty-five male freshman students at South Dakota State University volunteered and were divided by a table of random numbers into physical, mental-physical, and mental practice groups. The subjects in all three groups participated in a four-week training program, in which they met four times a week. A training session consisted of five warm up shots and twenty-five shots for record. The physical group shot all their shots physically. The physical-mental group alternated shooting a physical and then a mental shot, beginning with a physical shot on even numbered practice sessions and a mental shot on odd numbered sessions. The mental group practiced mentally only and also participated in introspective analysis at the end of each session. A test was administered at the beginning and at the end of the training program to the three groups. The test consisted of shooting one-hundred free throws physically. This procedure was completed over a two day period shooting fifty on each day. The data taken during the testing were recorded and analyzed to determine what effect each training program has upon the free-throw shooting ability of subjects. In order to determine if there was any improvement within the groups from the beginning of the program to its completion a t ratio was applied to each group. When the t ratio was completed an F ratio was computed to determine if any of the three groups had improved significantly more than any other groups. The results obtained in this investigation showed that significant improvement was made at the one percent level of confidence in free shooting by all three groups and that no group improved significantly more than the other. As a result of the findings, the following conclusions appear warranted. All three practice methods are effective methods of increasing free throw shooting skill. No one of the three methods proved to be more effective than the other.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Physical education and training


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University