Cognition, Intelligence and Language

Ep 181: How Does Self Talk Improve Your Game?

Bullet TimeLet’s talk sports psychology. When you participate in a sport, do you talk to yourself? Do you try to “psych yourself up”, or do you give yourself instructions on how to hold a part of your body or how much energy to exert or when to hold back? This is the kind of self-talk that psychologists study and it’s interesting to learn when you say these things to yourself and when they’ll be most effective. Also, some athletes feel that time slows down for them and they can really “see the ball”. Every happen to you? Let’s find out what’s going on in your brain when these kinds of time illusions (or “chronostasis“) events occur. Some fascinating stuff from the world of sports psychology.

Resources on Sports Psychology

    • I mentioned Connie Vaughn in this episode. She’s got a background in psychology and is also a triathlete. Check out her blog.
    • Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Theodorakis, Y., & Zourbanos, N. (2004). Self- talk in the swimming pool: The effects of self-talk on thought content and performance on water polo tasks. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 16, 138–150.
    • Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Zourbanos, N., Goltsios, C., & Theodorakis, Y.
      (2008). Investigating the functions of self-talk: The effects of motivational self-talk on self-efficacy and performance in young tennis players. The Sports Psychologist, 22, 458–471.
    • Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Zourbanos, N., Mpoumpaki, S., & Theodorakis, Y. (2009). Mechanisms underlying the self-talk- performance relationship: The effects of motivational self-talk on self-confidence and anxiety. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 185–192.

Thoughts That Win – Association for Psychological Science

From these unhappy experiences evolved Hatzigeorgiadis‘ interest in the psychology of sport – the link between one’s thoughts and performance, and specifically in “self-talk”— the mental strategy that aims to improve



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1 Comment

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    September 24, 2012

    Michael, Greek names are not that hard to pronounce. Perhaps you should practice them a few times before the podcast. Break them down into smaller sounds and it makes it easier. It is easy to say Hatzi, and George and Iadis, now just say all three quickly. The same with Theodore – akis.
    I am embarrassed for you and cringe slightly when you try to say these names.
    BTW, I am not Greek (although having neighbours called Hatzikiriakos might have helped me getting my tongue around these names.)
    I still love your podcasts.

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