Enhancing Performance and Skill Acquisition in Novice Basketball Players with Instructional Self-Talk

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Stefanos Perkos University of Thessaly

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Yannis Theodorakis University of Thessaly

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Stiliani Chroni University of Thessaly

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This study examined the effectiveness of instructional self-talk on acquiring and performing three basketball skills (dribbling, passing, and shooting). Sixty-two young, novice players were organized into two groups. The experimental group accompanied the practice of three specific drills with self-talk. The control group performed the same drills traditionally. Six assessment sessions were completed. Repeated measures MANOVAs showed that experimental group participants performed better than their control group counterparts when dribbling and passing. Experimental group participants and their coaches reported using self-talk more when passing and dribbling and less when shooting. In addition, experimental group participants achieved significantly better dribbling and passing scores (p < .05) between assessment sessions. These results support instructional self-talk as an effective tool for skill acquisition and performance enhancement of skills low in complexity.

The authors are with the Dept. of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, University of Thessaly, Karies, 42100 Trikala, Greece. E-mail: ytheo@pe.uth.gr.

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