Self-talk effectiveness and attention

Curr Opin Psychol. 2017 Aug;16:138-142. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.05.014. Epub 2017 Jun 15.


Self-talk interventions in sport have been receiving increased research attention in recent years. The findings have provided robust support that self-talk strategies enhance sport performance. Identifying the mechanisms that explain the beneficial effects of self-talk is important for developing a comprehensive self-talk theory and informing practice. Among the mechanisms proposed to explaining the effectiveness of self-talk, is its attentional effects. This article reviews the literature considering the effects of self-talk on attention. The findings suggest that self-talk can help enhancing attentional focus and attentional performance, but also help countering the aversive effects of distraction and ego depletion. The present evidence suggests that attention is a potential key mechanism in the self-talk performance relationship.

Publication types

  • Review