Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Positive Self-Talk and Its Effect on Learning the Grab Start Skill in Swimming and Self-Efficacy Improvement

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Positive Self-Talk and Its Effect on Learning the Grab Start Skill in Swimming and Self-Efficacy Improvement

Article excerpt


Self-efficacy lias proven to be a more consistent predictor of behavioral outcomes than any other motivational construct (Graham & Weiner, 1996). According to Bandura (1994) a person's attitudes, abilities, and cognitive skills comprise what is known as the self-system. This system plays a major role in how we perceive situations and how we behave in response to different situations. Self-efficacy plays an essential part of this self-system, however, learning how to minimize stress and elevate mood when facing difficult or challenging tasks, people can improve their sense of self-efficacy. Students will persevere in the face of difficulties (Salanova et al., 2011) because they believe that they can draw upon the necessary cognitive and motivational resources to successfully execute study-related tasks (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998).

In sport psychology, it is generally agreed that the performance of a skill is affected by what the individual brings to the task (Terry, 2004). Several factors influence students' performance, students' self- efficacy levels seem to be one of the strongest predictors of performance (Multon et al., 1991 & Robbins et al., 2004). Efficacious students generally perform well because they tend to try other options when they do not achieve their goals at first, they regulate their motivation and deal more effectively with problematic situations by persevering and staying confident that they will find solutions and be successful in the end (Bandura, 1997& Diseth, 2011). Several studies have shown that self-efficacy is positively related to task Bouffard-Bouchard (1990) compared manipulated levels of self-efficacy as regards their effects on cognitive task performance of the participants. Niemivirta and Tapóla (2007) looked at changes in 'natural' levels of self-efficacy and their effects on task performance. In both experimental studies, higher levels of self-efficacy were related to higher levels of performance. George et al (1992) found that self-efficacy and anxiety (cognitive and somatic) to equally predict hitting performance in the first of a 9-game series.

Sport psychology researches support the use of mental skill training for improving sport performance. One of the most commonly used strategies is positive self-talk, ft lias been suggested that positive self-talk interventions and procedures are some of the most widely applied and effective strategies used by athletes (Hatzigeorgiadis et al., 2007; Park, 2000; Weinberg et al., 1992). ft is the talking of somebody to himself either by talking loudly or from inside, in a way affects emotions and athletes' actions (Morris & Andersen, 2007; Hatzigeorgiadis et al., 2004; Johnson et al., 2004). Positive self-talk influences performance in a number of ways including the acquisition of skills, the development of self-confidence, and the self-regulation of habits.

Theodorakis et al (2000) extended this approach by examining the influence of instructional versus motivational self-talk on various motor skills, ft was found that both self-talk strategies are effective on improving performance, Perkos et al (2002) examined the effectiveness of a self-talk intervention program on basketball skills. The results revealed that instructional self-talk was effective for a dribbling and a passing test. Although mental training and self-talk are considered as sources of self-efficacy, few studies have been conducted on the effect of positive self-talk on self-efficacy.

This study investigates the psychological positive self-talk during technical instruction for learning the grab start skill in swimming and improvement of the student's self-efficacy. On the basis of the research literature, it was hypothesized that self-talk would improve block start skill learning and also student's self- efficacy.

The research will look at varsity, male students of physical education college at the University of Jordan where psychological skill in teaching program will be implemented by using positive self-talk for the purpose of learning grab start performance, and becoming familiar with the new swimming skill, and for the correction of some technical aspects required of the skill, students will repeat a series of drill through psychological positive self-talk. …

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