Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Munroe-Chandler, Krista


Athletes, Imagery, Injured, Rehabilitation, Youth




The purpose of this study was to expand our breadth of knowledge and fill a gap in the literature regarding injured youth athletes’ imagery use during injury rehabilitation, using a retrospective qualitative approach. The participants were 12 young adults who had sustained an injury as an adolescent (during the previous five years) forcing them to miss time in their sport due to the injury. During the interviews, the participants described their use of imagery during sport injury rehabilitation including when, where, why and for what purpose they used imagery. They reported using imagery during sport rehabilitation for cognitive, motivational, pain management and healing purposes. Motivational imagery was used to set rehabilitative goals and develop confidence in returning to sport, while cognitive imagery was used to learn and rehearse sport and rehabilitation skills and strategies. Pain management imagery was used to distract from pain sensations, block the pain, and practice dealing with the pain, while healing imagery was used for internal physiological processes. With respect to what they imaged, participants commented on the timing, effectiveness, nature, modalities, and “other” details regarding their imagery use. Overall, implementing imagery in conjunction with physical rehabilitation may enhance the rehabilitative process for young injured athletes, thereby increasing the rates of physiological recovery.