study examined the impact of perceptions of support from coaches and an athlete's 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."

 

The Game Is Mental

Becoming aware of self-talk is crucial in preventing unnecessary stress and creating a positive attitude and focus for achieving goals. Negative self-talk can create damaging reactions including increasing negative thoughts, negative self-judgments, and feelings of defeat. Positive self-talk, on the other hand, can aid an athlete in preparing for training and competition.

 

How Coaches Influence An Athlete's Self-Talk

Researchers investigated self-talk and perceived coaching support in two 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 athlete's self talk.

 

Researchers found a significant correlation between an athletes's perceptions of support from their coach and an athlete's positive self talk. 

 

Your Responsibility As A Coach

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. 

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