SELF-TALK IMPROVES BOTH PRACTICE AND COMPETITIVE PERFORMANCES
Ming, S., & Martin, G. L. (1996). Single-subject evaluation of a self-talk package for improving figure skating performance. Sport Psychologist, 10, 227-238.
A self-talk package was used in an attempt to improve performance of compulsory figures by prenovice- and novice-level figure skaters (aged 11-13 yrs).
The study included ongoing objective behavioral assessment across practices of figure skating performance as well as the extent to which the skaters actually used the self-talk. A multi-element design with multiple-baseline replications across four Ss demonstrated that improvements were due to the treatment.
Performances improved under the self-talk condition. A self-report follow-up one year later indicated that Ss continued to use the self-talk during practices and they believed it enhanced their test and/or competitive performances. The proposal that planned self-talk can aid skill acquisition was supported.
Implication. Teaching athletes to engage in intended-task-oriented self-talk will improve both practice and competitive behaviors that require a high degree of skill in predictable activities.
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