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Transcript of Self-Talk
- consciously recognize negative thought (trigger - i.e., snap fingers)
– changing the perspective; e.g., provide context, or changing negative self-talk to positive or instructional self-talk
- necessary when athlete still believes the negative thought. Uses facts and reasons to counter negative thought
“I must do this perfectly”
“It’s over if I lose”
“I’m nothing if I can’t even do this well”
“If I had made that play, we wouldn’t have lost”
“If it wasn’t windy, rainy…”
“I never play well at night”
Irrational & distorted self-talk
How does self-talk influence behavior?
First step in changing self-talk =
(introspection, observation, keeping logs)
kinesthetics/skill acquisition (
breaking bad habits (
initiate action (
arousal regulation (
“easy” "let's go"
effort regulation (
“keep going” "give it all" "save some"
build confidence (
“I can do it"
& Cognitive Re-Framing Negative Thoughts
The Where & When of Self-Talk
The What of Self-Talk
cues, phrases, sentences
technique, encouragement, mood elevation
The Why of Self-Talk
Hardy et al. 2001
Building & developing self-efficacy
Creating & changing mood
Focusing attention or concentration
Hardy et al. 2001; Zinsser et al. 2006
Hardy et al. 2001
(Meyers et al., 1996)
d = 0.73 – 1.23
(Hinshaw, 1991; Meyers et al., 1996)
d = 0.57 – 0.68
(Hatzigeorgiadis et al., 2011)
d = 0.48
(Kyllo & Landers, 1995)
d = 0.34
Comparisons of Mental Training Effects on Sport Performance
“We don’t need anymore techniques in sport psychology. We need athletes to use the techniques we already have.” - Bob Rotella (Singer & Rotella, 1996).
Self-talk has 2 main functions: motivation & instruction
Match your inner thoughts with what you're doing (fine or gross motor skill?)
"Write your own highlights nightly"
"overt or covert personal dialogue in which the athlete interprets feelings, perceptions, and convictions and gives himself instructions and reinforcement."
(Hardy, Gammage, & Hall, 2001)
Self-Talk and Sports Performance: A Meta-Analysis
only self-talk (no combination interventions)
Hatzigeorgiadis et al (2011)
What is the overall effect of self-talk on sport performance?
Does matching self-talk to type of skill matter?
Well-learned or novel tasks?
Will beginners benefit more than experienced athletes?
Does self-selection of cues matter?
Does "overtness" matter?
Is training/guided practice beneficial?
Characteristics of Self-Talk
Type of talk
= No differences b/t instructional and motivational self-talk on performance (d=.55 vs .37; not statistically different).
2. Matching hypothesis supported:
instructional more effective for fine tasks than for gross motor tasks; instructional > motivational for fine motor
. Task novelty
= slightly better than well-learned tasks (d=.73 vs .41).
4. Experience level =
= significant predictor (d=.80 vs .37)
Assigned vs. free-choice
= no difference
= no difference