I’ve been interested in sports motivation for awhile.
I took Fundamentals of Weight Training as a PhD student. (I had a tuition waiver and I went a bit wild with the electives. It’s the only B on my transcript.) And the grad student who was teaching us–in addition to being the Illinois State Drug Free Deadlifting champion–was writing a thesis on motivation.
Some of us agreed to be guineau pigs for a research study he was conducting on motivation and strength gains and we were assigned to various groups, either silently supportive or supportive with a script, with our weight training partber. Apparantly the vocally supportive group did better but at the time my partner and I, another philosopher, were happy to be in the silent group.
So it’s not suprising that being cheered on helps.
Now it’s one thing when someone else cheers you on, but what about cheering yourself on. Does it matter if you refer to yourself in the first person or not? “Sam, you’ve got this,” or “I’ve got this.”
See Motivational Self-Talk: Say You, Say Me? for a report about a study which set out to test which is more effective. It tuns out for cyclists engaged in a time trial second person talk worked better than first person.
“Second-person self-talk resulted in significantly faster TT (1045 s) compared to first-person (1068 s), with 13/16 participants having faster times with second-person. This pattern was reflected in higher average power outputs with second-person TTs.”
BUT WE DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW IF IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE FOR WOMEN, BECAUSE THEY ONLY TESTED MEN.
“The study design overall was pretty basic but appropriate to the study goals and well-designed. My one main issue is the use of non-cycling specific athletes. While a familiarization TT was performed, the TT variability in non-cycling athletes may still be large. Also, I wished that female cyclists would have been tested also.”
I wish that too.