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Confidence in Sports: The Role of Self Talk

How Self Talk Impacts Confidence in Sports

Confidence is sports comes down to a number of factors, one of which is self talk. Some other factors are upbringing, past success and preparation. It could be argued what percentage each aspects plays in the overall confidence in an athlete will have. Generally thought most will agree that self talk has a special place within confidence, because it is almost the filter through which everything else gets past through in the moment you are doing something.


Self Talk Filter

You can be well prepared, you can have had some great past performance that have lead to success but if your self talk in a moment is bad, then the rest gets wiped away. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are or how great you did in your last performance if you are telling yourself things that harm your confidence. If you are saying to yourself things such as “I can’t do this,” “I am not as prepared as I should be,” “don’t mess up.”


The self talk you have in a moment also impacts you behaviors, and your behaviors become your performance. If you have bad self talk it will create behaviors around your performance that will make you not perform in the manner in which you can. First, if you are thinking you are not focused on reading and reacting, your focus is everything, where it is impacts how your performance will go. It can impact your body posture, how you move, and do you hesitate or think twice before doing something.


All of these things comes from your self talk. So while you can do everything prior to your competition to make sure you are ready and have confidence, you have to make sure you have good self talk around the event itself or no amount of preparation will help you.


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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification

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