Adib Mazandaran Institute of Higher Education, Sari, IRAN
Visiting Scholar, Department of Public Health, Kinesiology Indiana University, USA
Department of Physical Education, Islamshahr branch, Islamic Azad University, Islamshahr, iran
Department of Sport Management, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, IRAN
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on learning a dart throwing skill in children with mild mental retardation.
Method: The subjects included 45 children with mild mental retardation who were equally divided into three groups of instructional self-talk, motivational self-talk, and control. The motor task included darts throwing skill in which children’s darts throwing scores as well as self-efficacy were measured as dependent variables. The Participants performed pre-test (including 15 throws), acquisition phase (including five 5-minute practice blocks), and retention test (including 15 throws). The participants in the instructional self-talk group were asked to repeat the “Center-Target” phase before each attempt during the training phase and then throw the dart. Those in the motivational self-talk group were asked to use a motivational phrase “I Can" before the throw. The children in the control group followed a similar protocol but were not given any self-talk instructions.
Results: The results showed that mentally retarded children who practiced instructional self-talk had better performance than those who used motivational self-talk and the control group in throwing darts in the retention test (P=0.000). Moreover, the motivational self-talk group performed better than the control group in dart throwing in the retention test (P=0.000). Finally, the results showed that children in the instructional and motivational self-talk groups reported higher self-efficacy scores than those in the control group in the retention test (P=0.000), while no significant difference was observed between the instructional and motivational self-talk groups. (P=0.527)
Conclusion: The results of this study show that children with mild mental retardation are able to learn motor skills through self-talk.
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