Rushall, B. S. (1990). An assessment of the effects of psychological support services on college varsity male rowers. Research report for US Rowing, Indianapolis, IN.

Members of a prominent intercollegiate varsity men's rowing program were instructed to develop and use positive self-talk. In a 6 min ergometer test trial, Ss (N = 8) were directed to use normal test-trial thinking for a one minute interval and the prepared positive thoughts for another minute. These minutes of thought concentration were alternated throughout the trial.

Seven Ss' times improved in the positive thinking condition by an average of -1.17%, while one was marginally worse. Ss were not aware of any performance difference between the two thought conditions until told by the experimenter.

Implication. Mature rowers were able to improve serious training performances by concentrating on prepared positive thoughts. The type of thinking developed "naturally" at practice, does not appear to be conducive to the best quality of training response. Instruction about how to think positively is a simple, easy coaching procedure, and is embraced by mature varsity rowers.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.