Effects of Motivational Self-Talk on Self-Esteem and Competitive Anxiety in Elite Swimmer Players

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Sport science, Department of Human Science, Khomeinishahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khomeinishahr/Isfahan, Iran


Introduction: Athletes always use a variety of training methods and psychological skills to reach to their full potential. motivational self-talk is one of the ways that athletes use optimum performance.So, The purpose of this study was to the effects of motivational self-talk on self-Esteem, and competitive anxiety in elite swimmers female players in Isfahan.
Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental study was performed as a pre-test, post-test with the control group. The statistical population of this study was all elite female adult swimmer players in Isfahan city. Using systematic sampling, 40 people were selected and assigned to experimental (20) and control (20 people) groups. Experimental groups performed three sessions each week of motivational self-talk program (Theodorusky, 2000) for 8 weeks, but during this period the control group did not receive any psychological intervention. Subjects in each group were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study by standard Rosenberg Self-Esteem Questionnaire (1965), and Sports competitive anxiety (SCAT) for estimating the variables of the research. Data were analyzed using covariance analysis, multivariate covariance and Bonferroni's’ post hoc tests.
Results: The results of this study indicated that the motivational self-talk factor has a significant effect on the variables of self-esteem and competitive anxiety in elite swimmer players (P <0.05).However, there was no significant difference between the amounts of motivational self-talk effects on these variables (P> 0.05). Conclusion: Motivational self-talk improved the self-esteem and competitive anxiety variables, therefore, it is suggested that coaches and athletes use motivational self-talk methods to improve and develop exercise performance.


  1. Hamilton, R.A., D. Scott, and M.P. MacDougall. Assessing the effectiveness of self-talkinterventions on
    endurance performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 2007; 19(2): pp. 226-239.
    2. Goldman, B. A., Mitchell, D. F., Gullickson, T., & Ramser, P. Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental
    Measures. Psyccritiques 2008; 978-1-4338-0137-2, 623-624.
    3. Hardy, J. speaking clearly: A critical review of the self-talk literature. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 2006;
    4. Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Zourbanos, N., Mpoumpaki, S., & Theodorakis, Y. Mechanisms underlying the self-talkperformance relationship: The effect of motivational self-talk on self-confidence and anxiety. The Journal of
    psychology of Sport & Exercise 2009; 10(1): Pp.1-7.
    5. Harbalis, T., Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Theodorakis, Y. Self-talk in wheelchair basketball: The effect of intervention
    program on dribbling and passing performance. International journal of special education 2008; v23 n3: p62-
    6. Cece, V., Lienhart, N., Nicaise, V., Guillet-Descas, E., Martinent, G. Longitudinal Sport Motivation among
    Young Athletes in Intensive Training Settings: Using Methodological Advances to Explore Temporal
    Structure of Youth Behavioral Regulation in Sport Questionnaire Scores. J Sport Exerc Psychol 2019;
    7. Saebi S, Khajavi D, Faraji F. The Effect of Balance Training with Educational and Motivational Self-Talk on
    Balance in the Women with Multiple Sclerosis. J Arak Uni Med Sci 2017; 19 (10) :48-58
    8. Zuo, Q., Long, S., Liu, Q., Zhang, S., Wang, Q., Li, Y., & Liu, M. Self-rectifying effect in gold nanocrystalembedded zirconium oxide resistive memory. Journal of Applied Physics 2009; pp. 1067, 073724.
    9. Hardy, J., Begley, K., & Blanchfield, A. It's Good But it's Not Right: Instructional Self-Talk and Skilled
    Performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 2015; 35(3): 132-139.
    10. Shariati, A., Fazel Kalkhoran, J. The Effect of Different Kinds of Self–Talk on Balance Function of the
    Healthy Elderly. Journal of Motor Learning and Movement 2013; 5(3 (13)): 119-133.
    11. Hanton, S., Thomas, O., & Maynard, I. Competitive anxiety responses in the week leading up to competition:
    the role of intensity, direction and frequency dimensions. Psychology of sport and exercise 2004; 17(3), 169-
    12. Salsali, M., & Silverstone, P. H. Low self-esteem and psychiatric patients: Part II - The relationship between
    self-esteem and demographic factors and psychosocial stressors in psychiatric patients. Annals of general
    hospital psychiatry 2003; 2(1), 3.
    13. Cast, A. D., & Burke, P. J. A theory of self-esteem. Social forces 2002; 803, pp. 1041-1068.
    14. Mamassis, G. and Doganis, G. The effects of a mental training program on juniors’ precompetitive anxiety,
    self-confidence, and tennis performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology2004; 16(2):118-137, pp. 118-
  2. 15. Jamshidi, A., Arab Ameri, E., Alizadeh, N., Salmaniyan, A. The Relationship between Sport Orientation and
    Sport Anxiety in Athletes Participating in 10th Student Sport Olympiad. Journal of Motor Learning and
    Movement 2012; 4(1): 37-55. doi: 10.22059/jmlm.2012.25074
    16. Martens R. Sport competitive anxiety test. Champaign 1977; I: Human Kinetics.
    17. Atarodi A, Lotfi G R, Mottaghi M, Daemi A, Rohani Z. The Relationship between Coaching Anxiety with
    Footsal Players’ Anxiety and Performance in Gonabad City in 2010. Horizon Med Sci 2011; 17 (3) :58-66
    18. Theodorakis, Y., Weinberg, R., Natsis, P., Douma, I., & Kazakas, P. The effects of motivational versus
    instructional self-talk on improving motor performance. The sport psychologist 2000; 3(14); Pp. 253-271.
    19. Emami Arandi, M., Jaberi Moghaddam, A., Farokhi, A. The Effect of Self-Talk and Feedback on Acquisition
    and Retention of Basketball Chest Pass. Journal of Motor Learning and Movement 2018; 10(1): 37-59. doi:
    20. Vaez Mosavi, S., Fatabadi, J., Pakdaman, S., Jafari, A. The effectiveness of training of motivational self-talk
    and mental imagery skills in enhancing sport performance of soccer players. Journal of Psychological Studies
    2016; 11(4): 71-95. doi: 10.22051/psy.2016.2184
    21. Movahedi, A., Bahram, A., Bordbar, S. The Effects of Different Methods of Self-Talk (Motivational,
    Instructional, and Combined) on Physical Efficacy, Acquisition and Learning of Dart Throw Task. Journal of
    Motor Learning and Movement 2016; 8(1): 127-140. doi: 10.22059/jmlm.2016.58496
    22. Van Raalte, J. L, Vincent, A., & Brewer, B. W. Self-talk: Review and sport-specific model. Psychology of
    Sport and Exercise 2016; 22, 139–148.
    23. Hatami, F., Tahmasbi, F., Shayan, S. The Effects of Instructional and Motivational Self-Talk on Anxiety, SelfConfidence and Performance of Badminton Long Serve. Sport Psychology Studies 2018; 7(24): 17-34. doi:
    24. Georgakaki, S. K., & Karakasidou, E. The Effects of Motivational Self -Talk on Competitive an- xiety and
    Self -Compassion: A Brief Train- ing Program among Competitive Swimmers. Psychology 2017; 8(2):677-
    25. Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Zourbanos, N., Mpoumpaki, S., & Theodorakis, Y. “Mechanisms underlying the self-talkperformance relationship: The effect of motivational self-talk on self-confidence and anxiety”. The Journal of
    psychology of Sport & Exercise 2009; Pp.1-7.
    26. Aghdasi M.T, Heyrani A, Vazini A. The Relation of Perceived Motivational Climate with Anxiety and Selfesteem in Elite and Non-elite Athletes of Team Sports, Sport Psychology Studies 2013; 1 (2):1-14.