If you missed Part 1, clic here : Mental Training? Part 1 : Goal Setting
If you missed Part 2, clic here : Mental Training? Part 2 : Imagery
If you missed Part 3, clic here : Mental Training? Part 3 : Confidence
What is self talk? It’s pretty simple, it’s talking to yourself… WHAT?…. I don’t want to talk to myself…. if this is you, don’t worry, the cool people are doing it. (haha) The best athletes in the world use self talk, and if they are using it, why not give it a try?
Managing Self talk
1. Awareness often occurs without conscious awareness (stay with me here I will explain). We may use self talk more often in certain situations compared to others (I know I do), it’s the relationship of what, when and how, we talk to ourselves that we want to focus on.
- Let me try and explain this. When you first come to the gym in the mornings, it’s 7:30 am and your trainer yells “Let’s run laps”. Whats going through your mind? I hate running laps in the morning… Why do we always have to run laps… Guess what, this is self talk! You are an expert at self talk already!!
- Now the next step it is to learn to control this self talk in a positive manner.
- Lets turn this around to a positive. Again your trainer yells “Let’s run laps” now you instantly want to go back to the negative but you consciously stop yourself, choose a phrase or word that you find positive. For example “NOTHING BUT A PEANUT”. The key here is to use the same phrase over and over and over. Over time through self talk you can empower yourself to enjoy the morning run by positive self talk. If you think I am crazy just try it, what do you have to lose?
- Self talk doesn’t have to always be when you are feeling negative about a situation.
– For example during a game you are positioned as the defensive end. You come the the line of scrimmage, you have several seconds before the opposing team huts the ball, you say to yourself “Just like Brutus, I am gonna do this” again another funny saying.
– The saying isn’t what matters it’s what the self talk represents to you. Perhaps to this player it represents a meaning of never giving up, pushing hard through the line of scrimmage, always moving your feet.
- If you keep it consistent self talk will positively effect you as an athlete and ultimately result in a better performance. WE PROMISE!
Self talk homework – Pick one activity during exercise you don’t like, possibly running laps, doing sprints, filling up your water bottles, whatever it might be and think of a phrase or word that puts you in a positive state of mind.
Over the next 3 – 5 weeks only focus on this one activity and every time you do it, say the phrase or word to yourself (make sure it makes you smile), at the end of this time period evaluate yourself. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised that self talk is yet another great mental tool to help you succeed in life.
Check out Part 5 of this article : Mental Training? Part 5 : Concentration
About the Author
Coach Chuck Dertinger is an accomplished fitness and nutrition expert, holding a Masters Degree in Science with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. Chuck lives, breaths, and loves to promote healthy lifestyle choices. He went from skinny to brawny gaining over 50-lbs of muscle in a couple of years through the use of sound training and nutrition tactics. Feel free to add him on Facebook and ask any questions with relation to nutrition or exercise.