Self talk optimizes the positive effects of mental imagery when learning the service in beginners


  • Nicolas Robin Université des Antilles
  • Robbin Carrien Université des Antilles
  • Christophe Boudier Amicale Tennis Club, Gosier, Guadeloupe, France
  • Laurent Dominique Université de la Réunion



service, mental imagery, self-talk, beginners


The aim of this exploratory study was to test the effects of a combination of mental imagery (imagining oneself serving) and cognitive self-talk (instructions for serving) on the percentage of success and the technical quality of the serve of young beginner tennis players during a one-week training course, with the aim of providing practical recommendations to coaches. The results show an additional improvement in service performance when mental imagery is combined with self-talk.


Download data is not yet available.


Atienza, F. L., Balaguer, I., & García-Merita, M. L. (1998). Video modeling and imaging training on performance of tennis service of 9- to 12-year-old children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 87(2), 519–529.

Cece, V., Guillet-Descas, E., & Martinent, G. (2020). Mental training program in racket sports: A systematic review. International Journal of Racket Sports Science, 2(1), 55–71.

Desliens, S., Guillot, A., & Rogowski, I. (2011). Motor imagery and serving precision: A case study. ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review 55, 9–10.

Dohme, L.-C., Bloom, G. A., Piggott, D., & Backhouse, S. (2019). Development, implementation, and evaluation of an athlete- informed mental skills training program for elite youth tennis players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 429–449.

Dominique, L., Coudevylle, G., & Robin, N. (in press). Effet d’une routine centrée sur l’imagerie mentale et sur l’efficacité du service chez des joueurs de tennis experts. Staps.

Guillot, A., Desliens, S., Rouyer, C., & Rogowski, I. (2013). Motor imagery and tennis serve performance: The external focus efficacy. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 12(2), 332–338.

Hall, N., & Fishburne, G. (2010). Mental Imagery Research in Physical Education. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 5, 1–17.

Hegazy, K. (2012). The Effect of Mental Training on Precision Tasks in Tennis and Soccer. A Study on Educational Technology. Ph.D. Thesis, Konstanz: University of Konstanz.

Hegazy, K., Sherif, A., & Houta, S. (2015). The effect of mental training on motor performance of tennis and field hockey strokes in novice players. Advances in Physical Education, 5, 77–83.

Malouff, J. M., McGee, J. A., Halford, H. T., & Rooke, S. E. (2008). Effects of pre-competition positive imagery and self-instruction on accuracy of serving in tennis. Journal of Sport Behaviour, 31, 264–275.

Mamassis, G. (2005). Improving serving speed in young tennis players. ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, 35, 3–4.

Robin, N., Dominique, L., Toussaint, L., Blandin, Y., Guillot, A., & Le Her, M. (2007). Effects of motor imagery training on service return accuracy in tennis: The role of imagery ability. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2, 177–188.

Schönborn, R. (2000). Advanced Techniques for Competitive Tennis (2nd ed.). Aachen: Meyer & Meyer Sport.



How to Cite

Robin, N., Carrien, R., Boudier, C., & Dominique, L. (2021). Self talk optimizes the positive effects of mental imagery when learning the service in beginners. ITF Coaching & Sport Science Review, 29(85), 9–11.