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In preparation for the 10th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) in Mauritius July 19-28, 2019 |08 June 2019

Start talking to yourself positively


Today I will share some great examples of positive self-talks that you can adopt, alter and make your own.


Why does self-talk work?

The subconscious mind is programmed similarly as a computer is programmed, so like a computer the subconscious mind will only perform with information presented to the subconscious and that will cause both psychological and physiological responses.


Be careful as an athlete how you talk to yourself. What types of phrases you should not be saying?

Things not to say to yourself:

  • Nothing ever goes right for me in a competition.
  • The competition is too hard for me and I am not ready
  • Why should I try? It would not work out any ways.
  • I have tried before it does not work.
  • It is not my day.
  • What is wrong with me today?


Athletes should make the effort to change their thoughts around by restructuring their thoughts

Things to say to yourself:

  • I am mentally and physically ready for the competition.
  • My skills are to the required standard.
  • I can handle any opponent.
  • I am in control of my event.
  • The limit is the sky.
  • I do not believe in losing.
  • Today is my day.
  • I am going to represent my country to the best of my ability.

Remember, the key to making self-talk is not simply repeating the words over and over. But, visualise, feel it and live it.


Simple steps for developing a positive self-talk habit

  1. Choose a mantra

To get started with creating more positive self-talks, choose one of two mantras you can use during training. This could be a simple affirmation, such as “I feel strong” or the mantra “go, go, go”, or another simple positive phrase you can repeat over and over.


  1. Practice multiple scenarios

Once you have developed the habit of repeating this phrase during practice to the point where it is automatic, start expanding the dialogue so that you have familiar and comfortable statements for a variety of situations during your sport. For example, if you are cycling and you reach a hill, you can say I am the greatest hill climber or I have done this before and it’s doable.


  1. Create a positive mental image or visualisation

The phrase and words you choose should be those that you can immediately call up and create a visual picture of yourself doing exactly what you say. These images along with their words are a powerful combination that creates a positive message tied to be a belief.


An athlete practicing this sort of sport psychology skill is one way to take his/her athletic performance to the next level.


For more ideas about how to build positive self talk contact your coach, certified mental coach, sport psychologist and person with a background in psychology.


Maurice Denys

Certified Mental Coach (CMC)

S.N.S.H. Dip. (Sports Psychology)

S.N.S.H. Dip. (Life Coaching)



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