Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Galanis, E., Zourbanos, N., & Theodorakis, Y. (2014). Self-talk and competitive sport performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 26(1), 82-95.
by Rachel Webb
Although the effectiveness of self-talk strategies has been widely reviewed and is gaining more support through this research, there is still a gap when looking at the effects it has on competitive sports. Studies discussed in this article review the multiple facets that self-talk can be most useful in which includes the level of play, the sport, and the type of implementation (Hatzigeorgiadis, Galanis, Zourbanos, & Theodorakis, 2014). The research distinguishes the different types of self-talk that can foster an enhanced motor or fine skills development and the benefits of self-talk on the psychological crisis of choking in performance.
Since there has been only one other study done on self-talk in the competitive realm, this article looks to extend this line of research and investigate the effectiveness of a self-talk intervention program on a competitive sport performance in young swimmers. This will also include the training of self-talk given that there has been more success in training self-talk with the involvement of athletes developing these plans, resulting in an increase intrinsic interest and enhanced motivation. Along with the focus of involving the athlete in developing the plan and key factors in implementing appropriate and adequate training, the theoretical underpinnings that create an effective plan per individual. Ultimately, the environment of competitive sports is complex but this study contributes further to the effectiveness of self-talk strategies that can facilitate an increase in sport performance. Further direction of effective self-talk is reviewed as well as the limitations regarding the added factors of doing a field experiment with less control.