From the Lab to the Field: Effects of Self-Talk on Task Performance Under Distracting Conditions

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Thessaly
  • 2 Halmstad University
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This study explored the effectiveness of self-talk strategies on task performance under conditions of external distraction in laboratory and field experiments. In the laboratory experiment, 28 sport science students (Mage 21.48±1.58 years) were tested on a computer game requiring attention and fine execution following a baseline assessment and a short self-talk training. In the field experiment, 28 female basketball players (Mage 20.96±4.51 years) were tested on free-throwing, following a baseline assessment and a six-week intervention. In both settings the final assessment took place under conditions of external distraction (noncontinuous, sudden, loud noise). Analyses of covariance showed that participants of the self-talk group performed better than participants of the control group. Findings suggest that self-talk can counter the effects of distraction on performance, and indicate that the attentional effects of self-talk is a viable mechanism to explain the facilitating effects of self-talk on performance.

Galanis, Hatzigeorgiadis, Comoutos, and Charachousi are with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece. Sanchez is with the Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.

Address author correspondence to Evangelos Galanis at v.galanis@hotmail.com.
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