Female high school athletes playing volleyball and soccer (N = 32) responded to a social validity questionnaire that inquired about their experiences with a sportfocused mindfulness training program. On average, the student-athletes rated most highly the effects of mindfulness training on emotional awareness and attention focusing, the contribution of mindfulness toward team play, the benefit of having coaches learn mindfulness skills, and the application of mindfulness to other sports. There were dissimilar ratings between the volleyball and soccer student-athletes concerning use of mindfulness when preparing for and during games. Most of the formal mindfulness practices taught during the training program were rated as being helpful to very helpful. We discuss factors influencing these findings and implications for mindfulness–sport performance research.
Attitudes and Opinions of Female High School Athletes About Sports-Focused Mindfulness Training and Practices
Douglas Worthen and James K. Luiselli
Functional Analysis and Behavioral Coaching Intervention to Improve Tackling Skills of a High School Football Athlete
John V. Stokes and James K. Luiselli
Functional analysis (FA) is an experimental methodology for identifying the behavior-reinforcing effects of social and non-social consequences. The data produced from a FA are used to select intervention procedures. In this case study, we conducted a FA with a male high school football athlete by manipulating social contingencies within practice tackling drills. The FA suggested that the highest percentage of correct tackling occurred when the participant was able to “escape” interaction with the coach following drills. After demonstrating that the participant had a low percentage of correct tackling during a baseline (preintervention) phase, the coach provided him delayed written performance feedback after practice. This intervention was associated with a higher percentage of correct tackling. The participant also tackled proficiently during a postintervention in-game assessment. The advantages of conducting a FA when intervening with athletes are discussed.
Behavioral Coaching of Track Athletes With Developmental Disabilities: Evaluation of Sprint Performance During Training and Special Olympics Competition
James K. Luiselli, Neelima G. Duncan, Patrick Keary, Elizabeth Godbold Nelson, Rebecca E. Parenteau, and Kathryn E. Woods
We evaluated several behavioral coaching procedures with two young adults who had intellectual and developmental disabilities and were preparing for a Special Olympics track event. The primary dependent measure was their time running a 100 m sprint. Following a baseline phase, the athletes were coached to improve sprint times through different combinations of goal setting, performance feedback, positive reinforcement, and video modeling. In a sequential design, the average sprint time of both athletes was lower during intervention conditions compared with baseline. Following intervention, they ran faster than their baseline average in competition at a regional Special Olympics event. We discuss intervention and research issues in behavioral coaching of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.