Valence refers to the emotional content of self-statements. Despite the emergence of sound theories of self-talk in sport (e.g., Van Raalte, Vincent, & Brewer, 2016a) and a body of empirical work (Hatzigeorgiadis et al., 2011; Tod et al., 2011), there is popular enthusiasm for self-talk approaches that are not supported or have been minimally supported by scientific research. Application of self-talk has been based heavily on intuitive ideas around the value of “positive” self-talk rather than on the most up-to-date research and theory. With respect to the expressive function, Van Raalte and colleagues’ (2016a) definition highlights self-talk as an articulation of an internal position. Research on athletes’ spontaneous self-talk has lagged behind experimental research due in large part to measurement challenges. Are inner speech self-report questionnaires reliable and valid? The general benefits of positive self-talk have been demonstrated, but further research is needed to help clarify under what circumstances and for whom positive self-talk is most effective. In this way it is like building muscle; the more you do it the stronger you get. Despite the obvious differences in observability between these types of self-talk, it is thought they serve similar self-regulatory functions and indeed research has shown that both overt and covert self-talk use similar brain structures (Morin, 2011; Unterrainer & Owen, 2006). This is where the concept of ‘self-talk’ becomes progressively more relevant. In sport psychology, the cognitive revolution of the 1970s led researchers and practitioners to explore the ways in which self-talk affects performance. Some self-talk that athletes use, self-selected/automatic, may later be suggested by coaches or sport psychologists and thus be considered assigned/strategic. Neutral self-talk also includes instructional self-talk, a category commonly seen in the literature that refers to statements such as “slow and steady” or “bend your knees,” which provide guidance or instruction to an athlete. Positive thinking, therefore, is the result of positive self-talk, and those can offer multiple health benefits, such as increased life span and increased immunity. This may assist in personal development for future performance. Positive Self-Talk in Sports Psychology We Can Use In Everyday Life. The underlying idea behind this hypothesis is that positive self-talk is linked to cognitive, motivational, behavioral, and affective mechanisms such that athletes who use positive self-talk are likely to decrease anxiety, improve concentration and focus, and perform better. So why are goals important? Some researchers have used fMRI and other brain assessment tools to examine brain function and self-talk, but current brain imaging technology does not lend itself to use in sport settings. An ideal definition of self-talk is one that captures the nature of self-talk and provides a common understanding of the phenomenon that can guide researchers and practitioners in their work. Research suggests that positive self-talk and visualization are linked to success in the basketball mental game. In order to narrow this definition Hardy highlighted three important features of self-talk that distinguish self-talk from other phenomena: (a) self-talk is directed toward the self and not toward others; (b) it can occur either out loud or internally; and (c) it occurs as a self-statement or something we say to ourselves. Several of the most prominent hypotheses and theories in the self-talk literature are discussed in the following sections. Such theoretical underpinnings are evident in sport psychology studies exploring how different types of self-talk affect performance (e.g., Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos, Galanis, & Theodorakis, 2011; Tod, Hardy, & Oliver, 2011), in the area of self-efficacy where self-talk is seen as a way to understand and intervene with core beliefs about the self (e.g., Son, Jackson, Grove, & Feltz, 2011; Weinberg, Grove, & Jackson, 1992), and in studies comparing elite performers to other athletes in terms of self-talk (e.g., Mahoney & Avener, 1977). Early studies of self-talk in sport drew largely from the ideas of Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (Ellis, 1957) and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy (Beck, 1975), which highlighted self-talk as an important way to gain insight into faulty or irrational beliefs that influence emotion and behavior. To fully understand the effects of self-talk on sport performance, more research exploring the self-talk of competitive athletes and their performance in actual competitive sport environments is needed. If one were to use positive self-talk and see negative results (e.g., failing to make the putt), self-talk doesn’t work. Most of all, they must be totally believable. More recently, researchers have expanded their exploration of self-talk by focusing on measuring the functions of self-talk via such questionnaires as the Functions of Self-Talk Questionnaire (Theodorakis et al., 2008) and the Self-Talk Questionnaire for Sports (Zervas, Stavrou, & Psychountaki, 2007) and assessing athletes’ spontaneous self-talk via the Automatic Self-Talk Questionnaire for Sports (Zourbanos, Hatzigeorgiadis, Chroni, Theodorakis, & Papaioannou, 2009) and the Thought Occurrence Questionnaire for Sport (Hatzigeorgiadis & Biddle, 2000). One other way to help you calm yourself through anxiety in sport is to do self-talking and should practice it on a regular basis. Hardy, Begley, and Blanchfield (2015) found that instructional self-talk was more effective than motivational self-talk on an accuracy-based task only for skilled athletes. Descriptive Experience Sampling has been used to study self-talk in golf, a sport that has regular breaks in the action. It seems possible that self-talk may provide a way to look at multiculturalism in sport and may also play a prominent role in linking existing knowledge in sport psychology to findings related to culture. System 1 self-talk occurs in line with System 1 processes. Lastly, this article will look at a real-time application of self-talk for sport. It can also have lasting positive health benefits, including improved well-being and a better quality of life. Positive self-talk allows performers to be more relaxed and focused. Positive Self-Talk in Sport Written by Gobinder Gill. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact usfor more information about the different coaching programs we offer! Although neurological approaches to measuring self-talk are promising, extant tools do not easily lend themselves to assessing self-talk during many sport performance tasks. The positive statements are examples of the kinds of things you need to say to yourself. Michael Mellinger serves as a Cognitive Performance Specialist for elite tactical athletes in the United States. (2009) found evidence in support of this hypothesis. The addition of the term “syntactically recognizable” separates self-talk from verbalizations such as shouts of frustration (aaahhhh! (2014) found that for novices, instructional and motivational self-talk did not differ in their effects on throwing accuracy but motivational self-talk enhanced throwing for distance performance. The above examples from my personal dialogue are from a motivational perspective but self talk can appear in other perspectives as well. This may assist in personal development for future performance. Researchers have used this approach to categorization to compare the effects of interrogative statements such as “Will I?” to simple future statements such as “I Will” and have found performance benefits for the interrogative “Will I?” form (Puchalsak-Wasyl, 2014; Senay, Albarracin, & Noguchi, 2010). While there has been an extensive amount of research conducted surrounding positive vs. negative self-talk, this review is meant to assist in familiarizing oneself with the importance of performance related talk. All of these phrases cast doubt and have shown to create increased somantic (physical) and cognitive anxiety (Hatzigeorgiadis & Biddle, 2008). As skill level appears to play a role even when self-talk is matched to the task, and as many sport tasks are complex and cannot be separated neatly into complex or simple motor categories, selecting self-talk based solely on the basis of its match with a task may not be warranted (Tod et al., 2011). While knowing goals are important and setting them is a good first step, it is the more complex foundation of how that goal was developed which determines the outcome. Although such studies highlight the benefit of self-talk, research designs that include self-talk as part of a psychological skills intervention make it difficult to determine the unique effects of self-talk on sport performance. Matching self-talk to the task (e.g., using motivational self-talk for gross motor skills such as power lifting) can be a useful strategy, although findings have been inconsistent, perhaps because many individual sport performances involve diverse sport tasks that include both fine and gross motor skills. A distinction between assigned/strategic self-talk statements and self-selected/automatic self-talk statements in experimental studies is another approach to categorization (Theodorakis et al., 2012). Having a clear and comprehensive definition of self-talk is crucial to both self-talk research and applied self-talk interventions, as the core understanding of what self-talk is serves as the basis of both measurement and theory. Negative Statement – “I’m afraid.” Positive Statement – “I’m courageous and … He suggested that inner speech develops and becomes the medium of consciousness as children internalize culture and meaning in the form of language. Practicing self-talk enhances its beneficial effects, perhaps allowing self-talk to become an integral part of the sport performance experience. Retrospective reports of mental processes, including self-talk, are notoriously unreliable, subject to the limitations of retrospective introspection (Brewer, Van Raalte, Linder, & Van Raalte, 1991; Hurlburt & Heavey, 2006). Keywords: self-talk,competition,elite athletes Non-first person pronouns tend to be used when people actively and autonomously respond to negative situations (Zell, Warriner, & Albarracin, 2012). Specifically, a strong definition of self-talk will allow more clarity with respect to where phenomena such as mantras, internal music, prayer, and talk aimed at inanimate objects (i.e., “get in the net!”) fall in relation to self-talk. In sports psychology, the goal is to replace negative self-talk with more positive messages. Lower performance testing the role of positive self-talk only works post activity the! 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