Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences

Subject Categories

Sports -- Psychological aspects; Self-talk;


Current research is limited and lacks clarity on how self-talk plays a role on anxiety and performance. The purposes of this study were to determine (1) the levels of cognitive state anxiety in collegiate athletes prior to competition; (2) the self-talk strategies Division III athletes use; (3) the relationships between anxiety level prior to competition and self-talk use during competition; and (4) athletes’ feelings about their self-talk strategies, anxiety, and performance. Athletes included eleven female student-athletes on NCAA Division III teams with ages ranging from 18-21 years. Descriptive statistics were conducted for the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 Revised (CSAI-2R) subscales and each of the eight Self Talk Use Questionnaire (STUQ) subscales. Linear regression analyses were conducted between each of the STUQ subscale scores and cognitive anxiety to determine the relationship between the items. An introspective analysis procedure was used to develop main themes for this study. Statistical analysis did not show a significant relationship between cognitive state anxiety and any form of self-talk used by the athletes. The current athletes reported using self-talk for calming and relaxing, motivation, focus, and confidence purposes. Self-talk patterns were simple and to the point. For some athletes, moderate levels of anxiety corresponded with moderate self-talk use. For other athletes, however, higher or lower levels of anxiety did not correspond with the amount of self-talk that was used during competition.



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