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Alister McCormick, Carla Meijen and Samuele Marcora

performance in an actual endurance event ( McCormick et al., 2015 ). Specifically, this study examined the effect of strategic, motivational self-talk on performance in an ultramarathon. Self-talk can be defined as what people say to themselves silently in their head or aloud, automatically or strategically

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Martin J. Barwood, Jo Corbett, Christopher R.D. Wagstaff, Dan McVeigh and Richard C. Thelwell

Purpose:

Unpleasant physical sensations during maximal exercise may manifest themselves as negative cognitions that impair performance, alter pacing, and are linked to increased rating of perceived exertion (RPE). This study examined whether motivational self-talk (M-ST) could reduce RPE and change pacing strategy, thereby enhancing 10-km time-trial (TT) cycling performance in contrast to neutral self-talk (N-ST).

Methods:

Fourteen men undertook 4 TTs, TT1–TT4. After TT2, participants were matched into groups based on TT2 completion time and underwent M-ST (n = 7) or N-ST (n = 7) after TT3. Performance, power output, RPE, and oxygen uptake (VO2) were compared across 1-km segments using ANOVA. Confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for performance data.

Results:

After TT3 (ie, before intervention), completion times were not different between groups (M-ST, 1120 ± 113 s; N-ST, 1150 ± 110 s). After M-ST, TT4 completion time was faster (1078 ± 96 s); the N-ST remained similar (1165 ± 111 s). The M-ST group achieved this through a higher power output and VO2 in TT4 (6th–10th km). RPE was unchanged. CI data indicated the likely true performance effect lay between 13- and 71-s improvement (TT4 vs TT3).

Conclusion:

M-ST improved endurance performance and enabled a higher power output, whereas N-ST induced no change. The VO2 response matched the increase in power output, yet RPE was unchanged, thereby inferring a perceptual benefit through M-ST. The valence and content of self-talk are important determinants of the efficacy of this intervention. These findings are primarily discussed in the context of the psychobiological model of pacing.

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Behrouz Abdoli, James Hardy, Javad F. Riyahi and Alireza Farsi

) hypothesized that instructional self-talk (e.g., “ball … step … swing”) to be more effective than motivational self-talk (e.g., “I can do this”) for precision and outcome-based motor skills. The opposite was expected for motor skills requiring strength and endurance due to the psychophysiological (e.g., mood

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Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Nikos Zourbanos, Christos Goltsios and Yannis Theodorakis

The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of motivational self-talk on self-efficacy and performance. Participants were 46 young tennis players (mean age 13.26, SD 1.96 years). The experiment was completed in five sessions. In the first session, participants performed a forehand drive task. Subsequently, they were divided into an experimental and a control group. Both groups followed the same training protocol for three sessions, with the experimental group practicing self-talk. In the final session, participants repeated the forehand drive task, with participants in the experimental group using motivational self-talk. Mixed model ANOVAs revealed significant group by time interactions for self-efficacy (p < .05) and performance (p < .01). Follow-up comparisons showed that self-efficacy and performance of the experimental group increased significantly (p < .01), whereas self-efficacy and performance of the control group had no significant changes. Furthermore, correlation analysis showed that increases in self-efficacy were positively related to increases in performance (p < .05). The results of the study suggest that increases in self-efficacy may be a viable mechanism explaining the facilitating effects of self-talk on performance.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Lorraine Wilson, Allen Cornelius and Britton W. Brewer

The effects of instructional and motivational self-talk have been examined in the literature on self-talk in sport ( Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos, Galanis, & Theodorakis, 2011 ; Tod, Hardy, & Oliver, 2011 ). Research suggests that self-talk is particularly effective when it is matched to the type of

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Nikos Zourbanos, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Dimitris Bardas and Yannis Theodorakis

The present study examined the effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on handball performance using a novel task (nondominant arm) and a learned task (dominant arm) in primary school students. Participants were randomly assigned into two experimental groups (instructional and motivational) and one control group. The results revealed that for both tasks instructional and motivational self-talk groups improved their performance significantly in comparison with the control group and that for the nondominant arm instructional self-talk had a larger effect compared with motivational self-talk. The results suggest that instructional self-talk in the form of external focused cues may be more beneficial in the early stages of learning.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Ruth Brennan Morrey, Allen E. Cornelius and Britton W. Brewer

Much of the research on self-talk in sport has focused on the effects of assigned self-talk (e.g., instructional self-talk, motivational self-talk) on the performance of laboratory tasks and/or tasks of short duration (Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos, Galanis, & Theodorakis, 2011; Tod, Hardy, & Oliver, 2011). The purpose of this study was to explore more fully the self-talk of athletes involved in competition over an extended period of time. Marathon runners (N = 483) were surveyed. The majority (88%) of runners, those who indicated that they use self-talk during marathons, completed open-ended items describing their self-talk while competing. Runners reported using a rich variety of motivational self-talk as well as spiritual self-talk and mantras, types of self-talk less widely studied in the literature. Given the findings of this research, future studies exploring self-talk use during competition in sporting events of long duration seems warranted.

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David Tod, James Hardy and Emily Oliver

This article presents a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between self-talk and performance. “Second-generation questions” regarding potential mediators and moderators of the self-talk–performance relationship were also examined. A total of 47 studies were analyzed. Results indicated beneficial effects of positive, instructional, and motivational self-talk for performance. Somewhat surprisingly, two evidence-based challenges to popular current viewpoints on self-talk emerged. First, negative self-talk did not impede performance. Second, there was inconsistent evidence for the differential effects of instructional and motivational self-talk based on task characteristics. Results from the mediation-based analysis indicate that cognitive and behavioral factors had the most consistent relationships with self-talk. The findings are discussed in the context of recent theoretical advances, and the article includes recommendations for future research (e.g., the use of designs allowing the testing of meditational hypotheses) and for current applied practice (e.g., avoiding the use of thought-stopping techniques).

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James Hardy, Nikos Comoutos and Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis

instructional and motivational self-talk, conducted using either a descriptive (e.g., Hardy, Gammage, & Hall, 2001 ) or an intervention (e.g., Theodorakis, Weinberg, Natsis, Douma, & Kazakas, 2000 ) perspective. Arguably Hardy et al.’s ( 2001 ) qualitative investigation represents the first comprehensive

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Erika D. Van Dyke, Judy L. Van Raalte, Elizabeth M. Mullin and Britton W. Brewer

athletes using self-talk during competition, negative self-talk is associated with poor outcomes ( Van Raalte et al., 1994 ). Regarding the function dimension of self-talk, performance facilitating effects of instructional and motivational self-talk have received much attention in the empirical literature