The present study examined whether (a) verbally describing one’s own body movement can be potentially effective for acquiring motor skills, and (b) if the effects are related to motor imagery. The participants in this study were 36 healthy young adults (21.2 ± 0.7 years), randomly assigned into two groups (describing and control). They performed a ball rotation activity, with the describing group being asked by the examiner to verbally describe their own ball rotation, while the control group was asked to read a magazine aloud. The participants’ ball rotation performances were measured before the intervention, then again immediately after, five minutes after, and one day after. In addition, participants’ motor imagery ability (mental chronometry) of their upper extremities was measured. The results showed that the number of successful ball rotations (motor smoothness) and the number of ball drops (motor error) significantly improved in the describing group. Moreover, improvement in motor skills had a significant correlation with motor imagery ability. This suggests that verbally describing an intervention is an effective tool for learning motor skills, and that motor imagery is a potential mechanism for such verbal descriptions.
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