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The Effects of Instructional Self-Talk on Quiet-Eye Duration and Golf-Putting Performance

Yonatan Sarig, Montse C. Ruiz, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, and Gershon Tenenbaum

While the impact of strategic self-talk on performance is well documented, examination of the attentional–perceptual mechanisms of self-talk is still at early stages. This study’s aim was to examine the effects of instructional self-talk on quiet-eye durations and putting performance. Thirty participants were recruited and randomly assigned to self-talk or control conditions. Participants performed a golf-putting task in a mixed between (self-talk vs. control) and within (pre- vs. postintervention) design. Two 2 × 2 mixed-design analyses of variance were conducted for performance and quiet-eye durations as dependent variables. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine the mediating effect of quiet-eye durations on performance. Results showed that self-talk use led to longer quiet-eye durations and better performance compared with controls. The mediation analysis indicated that performance was mediated by quiet-eye durations. Discussion centers on the role of quiet-eye in motor performance and how self-talk can assist in regulating quiet-eye.