Athletes Feed Off Coaches Emotions and Support
A new study examined the impact of perceptions of support from coaches and an athletes’ positive or negative self talk. Self talk is described by the Sport Medicine Dictionary as ...“what an individual says mentally to himself or herself, often to instill a positive attitude before a competition”. Self talk is an internal dialogue or running commentary inside ones' head. Becoming aware of this self talk is crucial in preventing unnecessary stress and creating a positive attitude, focus, for achieving targets and goals. Negative self talk can create damaging reactions including; increasing negative thoughts, judgments, and feelings of defeat. Positive self talk can aid an athlete in preparing for training, competition, and meeting goals.
Researchers investigated self talk and perceived coaching support in 2 studies. One study evaluated perceptions of support provided by coaches. The second study examined the relationship between received support provided by the coach and an athletes’ self talk.
Researchers found a significant relationship between an athletes' perceptions of support from their coach and an athletes’ positive self talk. If a coach reacted negatively to an athlete, then there was more negative self talk noted. The impact of this research is vital for coaches to understand as they communicate, train, and coach athletes in any sport.