The effect of self-talk on Tae-kwon-do skills’ learning of novice athletes and perceived use of it
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of instructional self-talk on performance and learning two basic skills of W.T.F Tae-kwon-do (Ap chagi and Bandae jireugi), in the perceived use of self-talk of novice athletes as well as in the possible correlation between the dimensions (effort, automaticity, cognitive and emotional control, self-confidence and attention) of the “Functions of Self-Talk Questionnaire,-FSTQ” (Theodorakis, Hatzigeorgiadis & Chroni, 2008). The sample consisted of 36 novice boys and girls, 8-12 years old (M=9.53, SD=1.53) and were randomly divided into two groups, the experimental (instructional self-talk group, N = 18) and the control group (N = 18). The intervention program lasted 8 weeks (2 sessions per week). Before starting the practice of skills, the participants spoke aloud specific key-words for the proper use of the technical skill. Participants were evaluated with a pre-test in the beginning of the program, a post-test at the end and one week after the final test they were evaluated in retention test. Moreover the evaluation of skill involved ten trials every skill, which were recorded by a digital camera and evaluated in five main elements of skill, by two observers. The result showed that the instructional self-talk was more effective for performance and learning the skills than the group that received feedback with traditional teaching. The use of instructional self-talk on younger athletes helped them to learn the skills but also to develop the psychological dimensions of the questionnaire (effort, automaticity, cognitive and emotional control, self-confidence and attention). Instructional self-talk can be an additional tool in the hands of the coach / physical education teacher for teaching and improving skill performances in other sports.
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