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Amy Price, Dave Collins, John Stoszkowski and Shane Pill

A key feature of any coach’s role is to decide on the most appropriate approach to develop player learning and performance at any given time. When coaching games, these decisions are even more challenging due to the interactive nature of games themselves and, in team games, this interactivity is heightened. Therefore, proponents of various approaches to coaching games could do well to demonstrate how different approaches may compliment rather than oppose each other, to avoid a one-size-fits-all process of coaching. In this insights paper, we summarise some of the fundamental approaches used for coaching games, whilst clarifying and contrasting their theoretical and practical differences. In doing so, we propose that there is a space in the coach’s toolbox for a games approach that hones the metacognitive skills of players. We also suggest reasons why coaches might use metacognitive game design as a tool to develop players’ deep understanding of game play to support player learning and performance.

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Bruce Hale, Paul Holmes, Dave Smith, Neil Fowler and Dave Collins

Several years ago Collins and Hale (1997) commented on nonrigorous experimental designs and procedures which typified published research examining the psychophysiology of the imagery process. Conceptual, methodological, and analytical guidelines were offered to improve the quality of future research undertakings. While Slade, Landers, and Martin (2002) have followed some of these suggestions, their recent imagery study examining the “mirror hypothesis” and a theory-expectancy hypothesis with EMG recordings still appears to have some conceptual inconsistencies, methodological flaws, and analytical weaknesses that make their conclusions ambiguous. These concerns are identified, and more suggestions for improved designs are given, in another attempt to improve the quality of the scientific research undertaken in sport psychophysiology.

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Duncan R.D. Mascarenhas, Dave Collins, Patrick W. Mortimer and Bob Morris

The purpose of this investigation was to pilot a video-based training program designed to develop referees’ shared mental models. A group of English Rugby Football Union (RFU) national referees, divided into a control group (n = 15) and experimental group (n = 41) made their immediate decisions on pre and posttests of 10 video clips taken from real game referee perspective recordings. Over a six-week period the experimental group studied training tapes consisting of 5 sets of 5 tackles, in each case with an expert providing his interpretation of the correct decision. The lowest ranked referees on the national panel significantly improved their percentage of correct decisions, becoming 17.43% more accurate in their decisions at the posttest. These results suggest that such shared mental model training is an appropriate method for improving referee performance.

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Jonathan Leo Ng, Chris Button, Dave Collins, Susan Giblin and Gavin Kennedy

Validated assessment tools for movement competence typically involve the isolation and reproduction of specific movement forms, which arguably neglects individuals’ ability to combine and adapt movements to overcome constraints within a dynamic environment. A new movement assessment tool, the General Movement Competence Assessment (GMCA), was developed for this study using Microsoft Kinect. Movement competence of 83 children (36 boys and 47 girls), aged 8–10 years (9.06 ± 0.75 years) was measured using the GMCA. An exploratory approach was undertaken to examine the internal consistency reliability (McDonald’s omega coefficient) and factorial structure of the GMCA for the study sample. Factorial structure was determined using exploratory factor analysis by principal component analysis with varimax rotation. For the sample data, reliability for the GMCA games were acceptable (ω = 0.53–0.89) and indicated that combinations of movement attributes were measured by GMCA games. Factorial analysis extracted four movement constructs accounting for 71.31% of variance. Dexterity was tentatively identified as a new independent construct alongside currently accepted movement constructs (i.e., locomotion, object-control, stability). While further development of the GMCA is still required, initial results are encouraging in view of an objective and theoretically informed approach to assess general movement competence in children.