The purpose of the study was to analyze the teaching/coaching behaviors of winning high school head football coaches during practice sessions. A systematic observation instrument with 11 specifically defined behavior categories was utilized to collect data on behaviors of 10 experienced winning coaches in the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area during the 1982 season. Each coach was observed in three phases of the season: preseason, early season, and late season. Segments of the observed practices were classified as warm-up, group, team, or conditioning. Analysis of the data showed that the total rate per minute (RPM) for behaviors was higher in preseason than in either of the other two phases. Four of the 11 defined behavior categories (praise, scold, instruction, positive modeling) had significant differences (.05 level) in RPM between the preseason and the other two phases of the season. No significant differences were found between the early season and the late season phases. The group segment was used most in the preseason, while the team segment was used more of the time in the early season and late season. A lower RPM during the warm-up and conditioning segments indicated less involvement by the head coaches than in the group and team segments of practice.
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