top of page

How Positive Self Talk Can Help GuideThe Learning Process

Are you self sabotaging your own progression?

Words are a powerful tool as they can convey emotions, thoughts, and encouragement when used correctly. Additionally, studies have shown that simply using the right words can boost physical performance by 11% (Mintah 2006).

This article delves into the concept of self-talk—understanding its nature and optimizing its advantages for achieving more successful outcomes while skiing and snowboarding.

What is self talk?

Our internal dialogue, known as self-talk, constitutes the stream of thoughts that consistently run through our minds. These thoughts hold the potential to be constructive or destructive. We possess the power to shape this self-talk, influencing its direction. Everyday, we engage in internal conversations with ourselves—reflecting on our actions, analyzing our thoughts, and evaluating our day's activities. Often automatic, these thoughts persist whether we like it or not. They have been altered, changed, and developed by our thinking patterns over many years. So why not take control and steer them down a constructive pathway?

Is it effective?

Waseda University's study found positive self-talk doesn't require belief for effectiveness. Simply implementing positive self talk, boosted physical performance by 11% for all, regardless of belief, compared to negative or neutral self-talk groups.

Using third person phrases

Psychologist Ethan Kross found that self-talk is more effective when you talk to yourself using third person phrases.

“Talk to yourself with the pronoun I, and you’re likely to perform poorly in stressful circumstances. Address yourself by your name, and your chances of acing a host of tasks, from speech making to self-advocacy, suddenly soar.”

Using goal oriented self-talk

When striving to achieve specific goals, employing concise, one-word self-talk phrases can be beneficial. Goal-oriented self-talk serves as an effective tool for athletes, capable of boosting and refining their performances.

For instance, one can generate straightforward cue words to maintain a micro-focus during skiing or snowboarding. Utilizing uncomplicated terms such as 'stay flexed,' 'balance,' 'relax,' 'push harder,' etc., allows us to apply these phrases at precise moments, providing the additional focus required to edge closer to our objectives. This approach ensures that our attention is directed not towards what we wish to avoid, but rather remains concentrated on the actions necessary for achieving success.

How to create constructive self talk habits

  1. Identify your reoccurring negative/unhelpful thought patterns

  2. Create more constructive alternatives

  3. Re-Program thought patterns through repetition and practice.

By employing positive self-talk techniques during challenging situations, we increase our likelihood of success. The more we utilize these techniques, the easier and more effective they can become.


Kross, E., Bruehlman-Senecal, E., Park, J., Burson, A., Dougherty, A., Shablack, H., Bremner, R., Moser, J., & Ayduk, O. (2014). Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: How you do it matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Belief in Self-Talk and Dynamic Balance Performance.Kaori Araki (Waseda University, Japan), Joseph K. Mintah (2006, Azusa Pacific University), Mick G. Mack, Sharon Huddleston, Laura Larson, and Kelly Jacobs (University of Northern Iowa)./ 2

14 views0 comments


bottom of page