Goal-Directed Self-Talk Used During Technical Skill Acquisition: The Case of Novice Ultimate Frisbee Players

in The Sport Psychologist
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Even though goal-directed self-talk is a key element in self-regulated learning, providing instruction and giving feedback during technical skill acquisition, few studies have explored the specific functions with which it might enhance learning and improve performance. Therefore, immediately after a training session, 32 novice Ultimate Frisbee players (Mage = 22.88, SD = 9.71) were asked to report as many self-instructions as they remembered using before task execution, after unsuccessful throws, and after successful throws. A hierarchical content analysis indicated that players used mainly instructional self-talk in all situations. However, instructional self-talk was aimed at technical aspects before their throws; at negative reinforcement, error detection, and technical adjustment after unsuccessful throws; and at positive reinforcement and technical transference after successful throws. Other functions of self-talk were confidence-enhancement and goal-promotion. Overall, we discussed that goal-directed self-talk is a relevant self-regulated learning strategy employed by novice Ultimate Frisbee players when acquiring technical skills.

Latinjak is with the School of Science, Technology and Engineering, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, United Kingdom. Latinjak and Masó are with the EUSES–School for Health and Sport Sciences, University of Girona, Girona, Spain. Comoutos (former Zourbanos) is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.

Address author correspondence to Alexander T. Latinjak at a.latinjak@uos.ac.uk.
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