Recently, Oregon Public Broadcasting highlighted Olympic athletes’ use of mental skills training, including positive self-talk, to help “boost performance.” Mental skills coach and and professor of exercise science and sports psychology at Pacific Lutheran University Colleen Hacker works with the US men and women’s hockey teams on mental toughness, positive self-talk, concentration training, pre-performance routines and imagining success using all senses.
The good news is, these techniques are appropriate for everyone. She gives this example of positive self-talk: “Let’s say a soccer player shot and missed the goal. Positive self talk would be, ‘Keep shooting. Keep putting pressure on the keeper. I’ll eventually get it.’” When practiced, this is a tool that can improve outcomes for anything any of us would like to accomplish.