The effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on students' motor task performance in physical education
Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on students' motor task performance in a chest pass and a modified push-ups test in physical education. Design: The design involved one between-groups factor, the group with three levels (instructional, motivational, no self-talk), and two within-groups factors, the task (chest pass, modified push-ups) and the time (pre-test, post-test). Method: Participants were 54 fifth and sixth grade students who were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (instructional self-talk, motivational self-talk) and one control group. Students were pre-tested in a chest pass and in a modified push-ups test, were instructed to use the respective self-talk type and were post-tested in the two tests. Results: Results showed that both self-talk groups surpassed control group in both tasks. Instructional and motivational self-talk were equally effective in the chest pass test, but motivational self-talk was more effective compared to instructional self-talk in the modified push-ups test. Conclusions: Self-talk was an effective technique for motor task performance enhancement in physical education. These results were discussed with reference to the task-demand-oriented matching hypothesis. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.