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Chapter 33

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PSYC 3480
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 33 – Self-Talk and Irrational Beliefs  "Can't should never be in an athlete's vocabulary" – Anonymous  Self-talk can be instructional, or energizing, or belittling, and can affect mood, behavior, and outcomes  Negative self-talk related to insecurity and doubt, and influences self- esteem - works to detriment of performance because distracts attention and disrupts ability to execute skills  Positive self-talk promotes optimism and confidence about what can be accomplished - energizes by psyching-up, increases effort, cues relaxation, and directs attention to immediate task at hand. Also can facilitate development and execution of skills, and cue game plans and strategy  Athletes should focus on optimal feelings, and match feelings and cue words to flow of actions o E.g. runners say “fast” or “quick” to make themselves run faster  Skilled athletes who frequently use positive self-talk during practice and competition are more successful in performance than their counterparts  Control of self-talk starts with retrospection - thinking about/studying videotapes of past performances which went well/poorly and consideration of what was being thought about at these times  Imagery used to visually and emotionally reconstruct performances and thoughts that accompanied actions o Recommended athletes keep journals of what was said before, during, and after critical performances to increase self-awareness  In order to change negative self-talk to positive thoughts performers must become aware of what they say to themselves, and frequency and circumstances surrounding this behavior. Countering Negat
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