Friday, April 10, 2015
Sports Psychology: Self-Talk
One of the hardest skills in sport psychology to master is self-talk, but it is also one of the simplest concepts to the psychology world.1 It can be in the form of speaking to yourself, or in the form of thoughts that come into your mind. Self-Talk is used to enhance athlete’s confidence in their performance whether it is in practice or a game. This technique must be positive in nature so that it leads to positive feelings that allow the athlete to perform at their best.
Self-talk has been found to help athletes with many different elements of performance including: skill acquisition, attention control, mood changes, enhancing self-efficacy, and for increasing persistence.2 The three primary types of self-talk are: Task-specific statements relating to technique, encouragements and effort, and mood words. Task-specific statements relating to technique are usually words or statements that reinforce the task you are trying to do. Encouragements and effort is referred to as words or statements that can provide athletes self-encouragement to try harder. Mood words are used by athletes to increase their mood or arousal during the sport for better performance awareness.
With self-talk being one of the most common but hardest skills to accomplish, there are many psychologist out there that can help with putting self-talk into practice. It is important that athletes remember to stay positive throughout their self-talk sessions whether practicing or playing in an actual game. Staying positive in hard situations and helping players through them will allow athletes to become successful and stay successful in hard times.
1Definition of Self Talk and Its Types. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.definitionpsychology.com/definition-of-self-talk-and-its-types/
2Quinn, E. (n.d.). Positive Self Talk and Sports Performance. Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportspsychology/a/Positive-Self-Talk-And-Sports-Performance.htm