Evidence Based Coach – Self-talk, Mood States and Self-Efficacy, Psychological Stress and More!
All Brad Cooper
Welcome to the latest episode of the Catalyst Health and wellness coaching podcast. My name’s Brad Cooper. I’ll be your host. In today’s episode. We’ll continue our focus on evidence based coaching. If you spend much time in the popular press or the world of podcasts, twitter, facebook, you’ve seen it. The headlines, the folks that yell as loud as they can about their great finding, the dramatic folks. You’re an evidence based coach. You don’t fall for that stuff. You make certain that before you bring something into your practice and share it with your clients and bring it to the forefront there that you’ve done your homework, that you’ve gone beyond those headlines and the focus of this episode is to try to help you do that. I had an opportunity to speak to the British psychological society conference a few weeks ago and met some, some brilliant individuals and what I’m trying to do in this episode is to bring some of their research to you.
Some of the things that they found that I think there’s at least an indirect way for you to integrate it to your attention. I’ll provide you the name of the article, a couple of the researchers and the resource so you can find it if you want to dig into it a little bit more, but again, the goal here is just every once in awhile include an episode that reminds us, Oh yeah, it’s not about the headline, it’s about what’s really happening on a broader basis. Just to reminder, you can access additional resources including a transcript of this episode at CatalystCoachingInstitute.Com, and as always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about your career. If you’re just thinking about pursuing a career as a wellness coach or you’re a clinician and you want to integrate wellness coaching into your practice, whatever it is that you’ve got questions about, we’re here for you. The email addresses results at catalyst coaching institute dot Com and we generally get back to folks within 24 hours or less, so we’re definitely here for you. With that, it’s now time to get started with the latest episode of the Catalyst Health and wellness coaching podcast
at four studies. I’m going to take you through just briefly, just enough to hopefully get you interested in have you dig in. Again, our primary goal is to just continually remind all of us that we need to go deeper. We’ve got to make sure our coaching is evidenced based and not headline based, so the first study comes from the International Journal of Sport and exercise psychology. The researchers involved Alster McCormick, Carla, Sammy, Mr Cora, there. Three of a broader group of researchers involved with something called the resist project and I would strongly encourage you to check it out. It’s got some really interesting developments that I think will be very helpful to you as a coach. One of the reasons I picked out the four articles that I’m going to reference today is the opportunity to actually talk to these professors, talk to these researchers, get to know them more personally.
There’s there’s a difference between the the researcher who hides behind the research and and never comes out of the dark room and the person that you can actually relate to. Unfortunately in our profession most of them are pretty good, but, but these folks just really had an enjoyable time getting the chance to interact with them and pick their brain about some different things and those kinds of things. In fact, Carla, we had a group run on one of the days of the conferences and she was out there with us, so it was kind of cool to see they’re applying what they’re studying. But this study, what I want you to think through here, this is about recreational athletes. It was 30 recreational endurance athletes from a variety of areas, running, cycling, triathlon, variety of distances, competitive levels, those kinds of things. I want you to think not only about the athletes you’re working with, but also your clients in relationship to their work.
Now, their study was not specific to work, but I think there are some, some ways that the data that can be peeled back that may help you in talking to these folks that, that are coming from that side of the equation. So what they did is they looked at the psychological demands of training, competition, preparation in competition, participation. They looked at these stressors and they found seven themes that basically with the way they wrote it, is captured the demands that were commonly experienced away from the competitive environment. These were time investment, lifestyle sacrifices, commitment to training sessions, concerns about optimizing training and exercise sensations during training also included prevent stressors and things that were happening during the event. Now, what they found is it demands were perceived by these athletes to affect their outcomes of their wellbeing, so emotions experienced before, during, and after the events and the carryover that those had consistent with the transactional theory of stress.
These stressors were often associated with negatively toned emotions and again, think of your working folks, not just your athletes, such as guilt, frustration, discouragement, and anxiety. These are procedures having detrimental effects on the athlete’s motivation for training and competition as well as affecting their attention and concentration, and that actually is drawn from a study by Lazarus in 2000. Some of the things they suggested might be helpful for these folks we’re creating. If then plans to prepare for that stressor that might occur during their their endurance event. They could identify detrimental interstates, things like unconstructive thoughts or emotions, different obstacles they might encounter, and then plan things like self talk, which I’m going to get into in a different study here in a minute. Specific behaviors they could do, the response they would have and that they could visualize implementing these responses or even practice them in some ways, so again, think about that obviously with your athletes, but with all of your clients.
These are techniques, these are strategies, these are things we need to be aware of. They can have a significant impact in helping not only reduce that stress but effectively respond to the things that are going on. The second study is a literature review and it comes from a journal titled Current Opinion in Psychology. It’s the 2017 issue 16, and it’s titled Self-talk, effectiveness and attention. It references a couple of the speakers. I got a chance to hear Alex, Latin Jack and Paul Wildman, both fascinating research that they presented and I thought this provides you a nice summary of some of the things that you could implement or encourage among your clients in terms of the self talk. The first thing it talks about, and by the way, when I say a literature review, this isn’t a specific research study. It means they’re looking at a broad range of research studies and presenting some of the highlights of those, so this is a highlight of the highlights.
How’s that sound? The research showed robust support that self talk strategies enhance sport performance among the mechanism proposed to explaining the effectiveness of self talk is it’s attentional affects the ability for people to focus in a little bit more, to bring their attention in. The literature review suggests that self talk can frankly help enhance intentional focus and attention to performance, but also counter the aversive effects of distraction and ego depletion. It suggests, suggested attention is a potential key mechanism in the self talk performance relationship definition they quote is from hardy, who described it as verbalization or statements addressed to the self multidimensional nature, having interpretive elements associated with the content of statements employed being somewhat dynamic and serving at least two functions, instructional and motivational. They have a couple of different types, automatic and strategic automatic self talk. Really important here. Automatic self talk is described as phrases of cue words that athletes use to address themselves.
Automatic. Self-Taught can be a goal directed and rational, meaning statements or reactive or proactive in nature. Employed for solving problems are making progress on the task or be spontaneous and intuitive. In other words, unintended noninstrumental statements that come basically effortlessly. They just kind of flow out, but they’re still considered self self-talk. Now, strategic self talks a little bit different. That refers to cues or statements that are used based on a predetermined plan, so again, strategic. They’re thinking through what am I going to use at what point in the race or event or or training serving specific performance purposes. Strategic self-talk involves the use of keywords aimed at enhancing performance through the activation of appropriate responses. The principle underlying use of cues is that athletes provide to themselves instructions for action and subsequently execute the appropriate action by simply following the instructions they gave themselves. So this concept of self talk.
Think about that in the things that you’re working with your clients on. Weight management, for example, they sit down and have a business meeting and it’s time to order dessert. What are they going to do? Have they visualize that? Have they thought it through? Are they going to consider the response? Maybe you’ve got somebody who they just don’t want to stand out everybody else’s ordering dessert. They don’t want to be the one person that doesn’t. Okay, how are they gonna handle that? You hear what I’m saying? So the self talk is the whole concept of yet you’re going to have some basically automatic things that come up, but you can also pull in that strategic piece and utilize that to more effectively reach these goals that they’re going after. You can have them practice things before that meeting, just down with their family, have their family, pretend like they’re in this business, meeting with them.
What are they going to say? It makes it so much more effective when they get to that state, so these are not just things that affect athletes folks. Yes, the study was done on athletes. The literature review is focusing on the use by athletes, but I want you to realize this is your opportunity to pull this in and say, okay, here are some techniques that I can use, utilize with my clients in a setting that matters to them. The third study was done by Richard Thelwell and Andy Layne Neil West and got a chance to meet Dr. Lane at the conference. Another great guy, fun to chat with him a little bit. The title of it is mood states, self set goals, self efficacy and performance in academic examinations. And I found this one fascinating. So now we’re not just talking about athletes. It comes from personality and individual differences.
Journal 2007 and it’s the 40 seconds issue. What it did is it looked at and again think about this in the context of your clients. It looked at the relationship between mood performance goals and the outcome in both written and oral exams at 57 Undergrad students and they did a a couple of assessments prior that looked at anger, calmness, confusion, depression, fatigue, happiness, tension, vigor, and then 30 minutes before the exam they completed these assessments and then they checked to see how they do. Twenty percent of the oral examination performance was tied to their mood state and their self efficacy in seven percent of the written performance on the exam. I mean, think about that. You go into an exam in your mood and your self efficacy are related to 20 percent of the difference in your written. I mean I’m sorry, in your oral and seven percent of your written that significant and you can’t just depend on that.
You still study, but all things being equal, that is a massive, massive change. So basically our findings found that positive mood states are associated with self efficacy to achieve self set goals. Really interesting and great application for what we’re doing. The last one, number of authors that, that, uh, in fact I, it looks like I’ve met all these gentlemen, a lot of respect for each one of them. Jack Bremmel was the lead author. Got to hear him speak at the conference. John Parker has done a lot of research with one of my primary professors, Dr Martin Jones. Mark Wilson is one of my primary professors. Samuel Vine works very closely with both of them and then Lee Moore had a chance to have dinner with him at the conference. Interesting. Steady. It’s titled Challenge and Threat State’s performance and attentional control during a pressurized soccer penalty tests. It was just published in the sport exercise and performance psychology journal in November of 2018 online at this point.
Quick summary here. What they looked at, and I’d encourage you to dive into this a little bit more, was the difference between the challenge versus threat state. This has very significant implications for what you’re doing with your clients. As a wellness coach. They look specifically at soccer doing a pressurized soccer penalty task, but folks, this is applicable to all of the things that you’re doing with your clients, so what they did is they assessed whether the person was in a challenge or a threat state. A challenge state is indexed by evaluations that coping resources matched or exceeded task demands. Let me say that again. If you’re in a challenge state, if your clients in to challenge state, it means that your your resources, your, your abilities, your sense of your abilities exceeds your task demands or at least your sense of those task demands. That’s a challenge state.
You see that task in front of you as a challenge, not a threat, and when someone saw it that way, when they viewed it that way, he was associated with superior performance. Think about that. We’re not to take much of a deep dive into this one. Beyond that, that statement there, but think about your clients. Can you help them see that they’re in a challenge state? Absolutely, absolutely. Because it’s the perspective of do my resources meet or exceed the task in front of me and if it, if they do, then our tendency, and there’s some other aspects involved here, but just from a 10,000 foot view, if you can assist them in moving that dial from saying, oh no, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know that my resources are good enough. I don’t know. My skills are going to. I don’t know if I’m ready.
Well now that you’re in a threat state because your. Your sense of your resources is, is at a lower level than your sense of your demand, your task, what you’re about to take on. So GC the role for you as a coach in this. Absolutely. I mean that is your role. You’re helping them see, oh wait, look at this. You’ve done this, you’ve done this. We’ve talked this through. We’ll, we’ll practice this. Think about a couple of the other studies I just went through this idea of visualizing it, practicing it, etc. That builds up your sense of your resources and puts you in that challenge versus threat state. Even if iT’s something like they did in this study where they were kicking a soccer ball and in a pressurized situation, it made a difference. Think of the impact it could have in the things that your clients are dealing with, so those are four studies strongly encourage you to maybe take a look at them in more depth, but please, the biggest emphasis is to remember your evidence based coach. You’re not satisfied with the headlines. You’re not satisfied with just taken the loudest person on twitter or the most dramatic sounding headline in the newspaper and running with it. you want to evidence and your clients know that that’s what makes you valuable. As a coach.
Evidence based coaching, it’s part of what makes you unique. It’s part of what differentiates you from all the other health and wellness coaches out there that are depending simply on headlines that are just scanning their twitter feed and seeing something that sounds cool and then the next conversation with their client, they bring it up without any evidence behind what they’re sharing. that’s not you. You’re better than that and we’re going to keep bringing this up and if you don’t like diving in the research, I’m sorry, every, I dunno, six eighth episode. We’re going to try to bring this back because we think it’s so important to that not just not just to us and our organization and the folks that come through our wellness coach certification, but to the whole industry. The more coaches are depending on research, the more they’re looking at peer reviewed articles, the more they’re diving into the details beyond just the headlines.
The more effective we’re going to be as a profession and the more respected will be as an industry. A couple of other resources, if you’re on twitter, feel free to follow me. I minE is at catalyst, the number to thrive at catalysts number to thrive and basically what I use twitter for is to basically read all these great research studies and get access to them and get the highlights that people are putting out there so I can take a deeper dive. So if you decide you want to follow me on twitter, that’s what you’re going to see every once in a while I’ll make a comment here and there, but most of the time it’s pulling other people’s things. A lot of the researchers I mentioned today, sanmar, quora, carla may and Mark Wilson, martin. These folks are publishing some really interesting stuff, some very interesting research and what I try to use twitter for us to bring that out to get that out to folks.
So great tool. If you’re. If you’re on there, feel free to jump on our facebook page. It’s the catalyst coaching institute and we’ll post things on that as well. But one other resource that I wanted to share with you that I think may be as valuable as anything, and that’s google scholar. What you can do with this, if you just google it, no seriously google scholar, look that up and then search your topic. You can pick any topic you want so you have a client or maybe you specialize in a certain area and you want to make sure that you’re up to date on all the latest research will. This is an incredible tool because you can type in any topic. It can be weight management, it can be mental toughness, it can be a whatever, and then you can create an alert. Basically you’ll see a little alert icon over on the lefthand side of the page and then you, you’ll see this alert query box and it’ll ask you to put in your email where you want those sent in, the number of results so you can limit that to just send me three or just send me 10, whatever it is you want to look at, and then create an alert and then what happens is you’ll get an email every once in awhile at the frequency that you determine from google scholar sharing the latest research on the topic that you picked.
I mean it is fantastic. So if you’ve got something you’d like to take a deeper dive into, if something you heard today, maybe self talk, you heard that and you said, oh, that could really be helpful to my clients. I want to learn more. Well, look it up. I tried to give you the resource that you could look it up or and slash or going to google scholar, create an alert on self talk and then you’ll get those in your inbox in and yet you get a lot of things in your inbox. It can become overwhelming, but you choose. If you’ve got a crazy day, just hit the alert. Just if you’ve got a crazy day, just hit delete, but it’s a great way to pull in specific evidence based research on the topics that are important to you and your clients. All right, I’ll get off the soapbox.
Thanks for jumping in. Thanks for hanging with me this long. We’ll continue to do these. We want to keep the focus of our organization, of your coaching, of our industry, our profession, on doing things that are evidenced based and not simply what feels good. Sounds good. Makes for a good headline. We love hearing from you. Email us anytime. If you want to complain about evidence days. If you want to complain about me, uh, we’d love to hear from you. Email his [email protected]. Everything’s on the table. You got a question about something that was talked about today. You have a idea that you’d like to us to focus on in the future and a podcast. You have an interview that you’d like us to reach out to. Try to set up for a future episode. Feel free. Thank you for spreading the word. This thing continues to grow like crazy.
IT’s been fun to watch. We’re not doing essentially any marketing with this. It’s literally just word of mouth and so we really appreciate those of you who have gone on and given it the five stars or made a positive comment or share it with a peer of yours. It makes a difference. I mean, that’s, that’s the only way this thing is going to grow. So thank you so much for spreading the word. until next time, let’s all keep working towards hashtag better than yesterday for both ourselves and our clients. Let’s make it a great day and I’ll look forward to speaking with you soon on the next. Until next time, let’s keep working toward hashtag better than yesterday, both for ourselves and our clients. Let’s make a great day and I’ll look forward to speaking with you soon. On the next episode of the catalyst health and wellness coaching podcast.