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Alexander T. Latinjak

This two-study project provided a brief description of athletes’ experiences with mind wandering. Study 1 aimed to quantitatively examine mind wandering in sports, in terms of frequency, effects and perceived control. Therefore, 94 athletes (M age = 19.51, SD = 1.65) answered a specifically designed 19-item questionnaire. The results suggested that mind wandering is a common phenomenon in sports, with both beneficial and adverse effects on performance. Study 2 aimed to qualitatively explore when athletes use mind wandering. Accordingly, 115 athletes (M age = 22.82, SD = 3.61) described one recent mind wandering situation while practicing sport. A hierarchical content analysis was performed by the first author and confirmed by an external expert. The results indicated that mind wandering occurred in a wide range of situations in sport and physical activity. Nonetheless, it was also argued that future studies should more carefully define mind wandering to avoid confusion with related terms.

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Alexander T. Latinjak, Miguel Torregrosa and Jordi Renom

The main purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a strategy that combined self talk and performance feedback. Therefore, three groups of adult tennis players performed a forehand groundstroke task. The first group (n = 16) applied an instructional self talk and self feedback combination, the second (n = 16) used regular instructional self talk, and the third (n = 16) performed without any specific aid. The hypothesis was that the performance and concentration scores of both self talk groups would improve from the pretest to the posttest, while the scores from the control group would remain unchanged. The analysis of variance with repeated measures confirmed this hypothesis. Further, the players who used self feedback perceived the effectiveness of their intervention to be significantly higher compared with the other intervention group. Overall, the combination of self talk and feedback seems to be an alternative to the original instructional self talk intervention.

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Alexander T. Latinjak, Marc Masó and Nikos Comoutos

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 (M age = 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.