Self-talk influences vertical jump performance and kinematics in male rugby union players
Computing, Health and Science
Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
We examined the effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on centre of mass displacement and hip kinematics during the vertical jump. Twenty-four male rugby union players (age 21.1 years, s = 3.5; body mass 81.0 kg, s = 8.9; height 1.80 m, s = 0.06) performed three vertical jump tests, with a 2 min rest between jumps. Before each jump, participants engaged in one of three counterbalanced interventions (motivational self-talk, instructional self-talk or no-intervention). Motivational self-talk led to greater centre of mass displacement (0.602 m, s = 0.076; P = 0.012) than the no-intervention control (0.583 m, s = 0.085). Centre of mass displacement did not differ between instructional self-talk and the control condition or between motivational and instructional self-talk. Motivational (100.75°, s = 16.05; P = 0.001) and instructional self-talk (106.14°, s = 17.04; P = 0.001) led to greater hip displacement than the no-intervention control (94.11°, s = 17.14). There was also a significant difference in hip displacement between motivational and instructional self-talk (P = 0.014), although there was no difference between instructional self-talk and the control condition. Motivational (451.69 °/s, s = 74.34; P = 0.008) and instructional self-talk (462.01 °/s, s = 74.37; P = 0.001) led to greater hip rotation velocity than the no-intervention control (434.37 °/s, s = 75.37), although there was no difference between the two self-talk interventions. These results indicate that self-talk may influence performance and technique during the vertical jump in male rugby players.