Elite portuguese soccer players’ use of psychological techniques: Where, when and why


  • Simão Pedro Fernandes de Freitas University of Porto, Portugal
  • Cláudia Salomé Lima Dias University of Porto, Portugal
  • António Manuel Ferreira Leal Mendoça da Fonseca University of Porto, Portugal




Soccer players, Self-Talk, Goal-Setting, Imagery, Relaxation


The purpose of the current study was to examine the use whether, were, when and why soccer players used self-talk, imagery, goal setting and relaxation. Semi-structure, in-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 elite soccer players from Portuguese premier league soccer teams that played regularly in UEFA champions and Europe leagues. Results demonstrated that participants employed self-talk, goal-setting, and imagery with several purposes in their soccer routines. On the other hand, participants highlighted a lack of use of relaxation. In addition, results showed that the use of psychological techniques was lower in training than competition setting. Implications of the results are discussed and future research and practical recommendations are suggested.


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How to Cite

Freitas, S. P. F. de, Dias, C. S. L., & Fonseca, A. M. F. L. M. da. (2013). Elite portuguese soccer players’ use of psychological techniques: Where, when and why. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 8(3), 847–860. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2013.83.10