Relationship between Self-talk and Flow in Athletic Training and Competition Settings

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Woodman, John
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Middle Tennessee State University
Of interest for sport and exercise researchers is how to facilitate performance through mental skills. Self-talk and flow have a number of overlapping principles that makes studying them intriguing for sport psychology research. This study examined the relationship of these two factors in both practice and competition settings for endurance athletes. In an attempt to advance previous research (Taylor, 2014), it was predicted flow would be correlated to a greater degree with motivational self-talk than instructional self-talk. Additional predictions were made that motivational self-talk would be more prevalent in competition and instructional self-talk would be more prevalent in training (Theodorakis et al., 2000). Thirty-two runners from three NCAA teams in Tennessee participated by answering self-talk and flow questionnaires after a hard training session and after a race. Results did not support the hypothesis of motivational self-talk being more facilitative of flow than instructional self-talk. Type of self-talk also did not show to be significantly different based on training or competition settings. This suggests the type of self-talk has less to do with flow than self-talk in general.
Flow, Self-talk, Sport psychology