Positive self-talk while playing a sport is likely to improve your performance, researchers say.
In fact, the study was born out of an on-field experience of one of the researchers.
Back on the high school soccer field, poised to take a crucial penalty kick, sports psychologist Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis recalls: ‘I was the captain and never missed those types of shots. Then I had that thought striking me that it was not going to be good.
‘I knew I was going to miss,’ he recalls, ‘and I did miss.’ Even then, he could see that his mind had a big effect on his body.
From these unhappy experiences evolved Hatzigeorgiadis’ interest in the psychology of sport – the link between one’s thoughts and performance, reports the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.
‘We know this strategy works, and it works in sports,’ says Hatzigeorgiadis. But what makes it work better, and in what situations?
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