Background: One of the most important goals of physical education teachers and sport trainers is to increase the amount of learning and performance of motor skills of students and athletes in the shortest time, with the lowest cost and energy, and the highest level of motor skills learning. Therefore, teachers and sport coaches should use the best methods to learn and practice for better results.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of motivational self-talk on the performance and learning of skills of throwing a tennis ball from the top of the shoulders with the use of the non-dominant hand in 10-year old male students.
Methods: For this purpose, 40 male students (average age of 10. 17 ± 0.51) volunteered to participate in this study as the research sample and were randomly divided to 2 groups of 20 (motivational self-talk group and control group). In the acquisition phase, the subjects were trained continuously during 5 sessions for 5 days (6 blocks of 10 attempts per session) and on the next day, they performed a retention test with 10 attempts. To illustrate the difference between groups, independent samples t-test was used, while one-way analysis of variance was used to compare the scores of each group at each phase of study.
Results: The results of the statistical methods showed that both groups improved at the acquisition stage and there was a significant difference between the groups at the acquisition stage (P < 0.001). In other words, results were in favor of the motivational self-talk group (P < 0.001). In the retention phase, there was a significant difference between the 2 groups, and this advantage was in favor of the motivational self-talk group (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: In general, it is suggested for sports teachers and trainers to use motivational self-talk for improvement of various skills.