Self-talk influences vertical jump performance and kinematics in male rugby union players
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of 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.