Thursday, August 13, 2020

Academic Quick Hit - Van Raalte, et al.'s Relationship Between Observable Self-Talk and Competitive Junior Tennis Players' Match Performances

Where I attempt to give a quick summary and opinion on an academic paper that connects to teaching, learning, and/or sport.

Why I think this paper matters:
- It suggests a connection between our self-talk and our performances
- It reminds us that self-talk may be a lot more than what we can see

Raalte, J. L. V., Brewer, B. W., Rivera, P. M., & Petitpas, A. J. (1994). The Relationship between Observable Self-Talk and Competitive Junior Tennis Players’ Match Performances. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 16(4), 400–415.

Type of Paper: Empirical Research
The authors studied junior tennis players at a pair of tournaments, recorded their observable self-talk and had them complete a survey about their self-talk.

-Players who used more positive self-talk won more sets than those that used more negative self-talk (the authors make it clear that this is merely correlation and not causation)
- Players categorized self-instruction as positive, negative, and "other", which suggests that they view self-instruction differently depending on the circumstances

What I'm left wondering:
- How can we as coaches learn more about the unobservable self-talk?
- How can we help athletes move from negative to "other" or positive self-talk?

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