A self-talk package was used to improve performance of compulsory figures by prenovice- and novice-level figure skaters. The study included ongoing objective behavioral assessment across practices of the figure skating performance as well as the extent to which the skaters actually utilized the self-talk. A multi-element design with multiple baseline replications across 4 participants demonstrated that improvements were due to the treatment. Self-report follow-up at 1 year indicated that the participants continued to utilize the selftalk during practices and that they believed that it enhanced their test and/or competitive performance. The results support the view that planned self-talk can aid skill acquisition. Results are conceptualized in terms of rule-governed control over behavior, which may provide a useful framework for enabling sport psychologists to increase the efficacy of self-talk interventions.
Siri Ming was with the Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba at the time of this study. Garry L. Martin is with the Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba, 129 St. Pauls College, 430 Dysart Road, Winnipeg, MB Canada, R3T 2M6.