Automatic self-talk of elite athletes provides valuable insight into their emotional experience and self-regulation strategies in competition. To date, there is a shortage of research examining elite junior athletes’ automatic self-talk in competition through a qualitative lens. Despite parents’ key role in the well-being and performance of their child, there is no study about junior elite athletes’ and their parents’ self-talk during a competition. Hence, the aim of this study is to examine the content of elite junior tennis players’ automatic self-talk as well as the content of their parents’ self-talk regarding their emotions during important matches. In each of the two cases under investigation, individual in-depth interviews were conducted with a tennis player and his or her most dedicated parent. The results were analyzed using Yin’s (2014) multiple-case study strategy and Polkinghorne’s (1995) narration inquiry strategy. An analysis of automatic self-talk content was conducted individually for each case, followed by an intra-case and cross-case analysis. The results reveal that each player’s and parent’s automatic self-talk is related to their own subjective emotional experience during the matches. The findings highlight similarities in athletes’ and parents’ self-talk patterns, reflecting the potential influence of parents in athletes’ performance pressure and their goal-directed self-talk strategies. The differences observed between the self-talk of players and their parents demonstrate the relevance of examining their profiles to better understand the origin of individual differences in self-talk.
elite athletes, parenting, qualitative research, competitive performance, emotions
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Recommended APA Citation
Boudreault, V., Trottier, C., & Provencher, M. D. (2019). A Case Study of Junior Elite Tennis Players' and their Parent’s Self-Talk. The Qualitative Report, 24(7), 1658-1680. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol24/iss7/10