The effect of the combined self-talk and mental imagery program on the badminton motor skills and self-confidence of youth beginner student-athletes

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Hidayat Y., Yudiana Y., Hambali B., Sultoni K., Ustun Ü. D., Singnoy C.

BMC Psychology, vol.11, no.1, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s40359-023-01073-x
  • Journal Name: BMC Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Badminton motor skill, Mental imagery, Psychological strategy, Self-confidence, Self-talk
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: No


Background: The psychological strategies of self-talk (S.T.) and mental imagery (MI) have an essential role in training and sports performance, but their implementation, particularly in combination, is still limited. This study aimed to examine badminton motor skills (BMS) and self-confidence (S.C.) mastery after a psychological strategy intervention of S.T. and MI, which were integrated into the BMS training process in both independent and interactive functions. The S.T. strategy consisted of instructional (I-S.T.) and motivational (M-S.T.) functions, while the MI consisted of cognitive (C-MI) and motivational (M-MI) aspects. Methods: Eighty youth beginner badminton student-athletes aged 10–12 years (male = 40, female = 40) were divided through a disproportional stratified sampling into four experimental groups (EG: 2-function S.T. × 2-function MI) and one control group (CG). The intervention program lasted eight weeks (three meetings a week for a total of 24 meetings). The participants completed a fidelity check at each session. At the end of the intervention, they took a BMS test and completed a self-confidence scale. Results: The S.T. and MI strategies had a significant effect on BMS and S.C. mastery (independent and interaction functions) in multivariate and univariate ways; however, independently, they had no significant effect on S.C. The effect of I-S.T. > M-S.T. and the effect of C-MI > M-MI on BMS, but there was no difference in S.C. In the I-S.T. condition, the C-MI and M-MI strategies did not have a different interaction effect on BMS mastery, but the effect of M-MI > C-MI on S.C. In the M-S.T. condition, the effect of C-MI > M-MI on the BMS and S.C. mastery. In the C-MI condition, the I-S.T. and M-S.T. strategies did not have a different interaction effect on BMS mastery, but the effect of M-S.T. > I-ST on S.C. In the M-MI condition, the effect of I-S.T. > M-S.T. on the BMS and S.C. mastery. Conclusion: The results of this study contribute to the existing evidence on the effectiveness of S.T. and MI strategies in the motor skill mastery and psychological skill development of beginner student-athletes. Thus, S.T. and MI strategies can be adapted as psychological strategies that coaches and physical educators can use to improve beginner student-athlete learning, sports performance, and psychological skills.