Empirical literature addressing the effectiveness of self-talk for expert performers is lacking. We addressed this shortcoming within the existent literature and examined the comparative effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on basketball free throw shooting accuracy and salient movement kinematics. We recruited 20 professional basketball players to participate in a 2 × 2 pre/post-test experiment. Free throw accuracy and movement patterns were recorded, with the latter subsequently used to calculate elbow–wrist coordination variability. Results indicated superior shooting accuracy and reduced movement coordination variability for instructional self-talk compared to baseline conditions, whereas no differences emerged for motivational self-talk. Findings from the study help practitioners to better guide skilled performers how best to use self-talk; an area in urgent need of further research.
Behrouz Abdoli, James Hardy, Javad F. Riyahi and Alireza Farsi
Ayoub Asadi, Alireza Farsi, Behrouz Abdoli, Esmaeel Saemi and Jared M. Porter
There were two aims to the present study. First, we sought to investigate how a form of self-controlled practice compared to a well-established strategy of explicitly directing a mover’s attention externally when performing the standing long jump. Those two forms of practice were also compared to conditions in which participants were instructed to focus their attention internally or neutrally (i.e., control condition). Second, we investigated if the skill level of the participants was a factor in the comparison of these two forms of training (i.e., directing attention externally and self-controlled practice). In the External condition, volunteers were told to focus on jumping toward a cone that was placed in front of them at a distance of 5-m. In the Internal condition, participants were told to focus on the extension of their knees. In the Self-control condition, volunteers were allowed to choose a distant target to focus their attention on while executing the jump. Participants also completed jumps in a Control condition in which no explicit instructions were provided. Results demonstrated that both skilled and low-skilled participants jumped significantly farther in the External and Self-control conditions compared to jumps completed in the Control and Internal conditions. The findings of this study demonstrate that providing instructions that direct attention externally, or allowing the participant to choose where to direct their attention, resulted in similar enhancements in jumping performance in both low- and high-skilled jumpers.