Sport participants continually seek methods to hone their skills and achieve expert performance. One means to achieve this is through the use of observational learning (OL). The Functions of Observational Learning Questionnaire (FOLQ) was created to measure the types of OL athletes used. The data presented herein builds from prior research in which the use of the FOLQ was extended to coaches and officials. The researchers included the following open-ended question: “Do you observe others/self for anything not addressed above?” Responses to this question, however, have yet to be reported. As such, the purpose of this study was to analyze participants’ responses to understand how coaches and officials use observational learning. Many identified codes encompassed ideas already included within the FOLQ; however, new coding categories emerged. Specifically, coaches reported using observational learning for Self-Reflection, officials reported using observational learning for Self-Presentation, and both groups reported using observational learning to improve Communication. These results demonstrate the importance of OL to coaches’ and officials’ development. Further, the results highlight that the FOLQ might overlook coaches’ and officials’ uses of OL. Regardless, the various uses of OL ought to be included in coaching and officiating education programs to foster elite performance.
Laura St. Germain, Amanda M. Rymal and David J. Hancock
Rebecca Robertson, Laura St. Germain and Diane M. Ste-Marie
In this experiment, we examined whether self-observation, via video replay, coupled with the viewing of a skilled model was better for motor skill learning than the use of self-observation alone. Twenty-one female gymnasts participated in a within design experiment in which two gymnastics skills were learned. One skill was practiced in conjunction with the self-observation/skilled model pairing and the other with only self-observation. The experiment unfolded over five sessions in which pre-test, baseline, acquisition, retention, and post-test scores were obtained. Analysis of the physical performance scores revealed a significant Condition ×Session interaction in which it was shown that there were no differences between the intervention conditions at baseline and early in acquisition; but, later in acquisition, those skills practiced with the self-observation/skilled model pairing were executed significantly better than those with only self-observation. Also, an error identification test showed that participants had significantly higher response sensitivity scores for those skills learned with the paired intervention compared to self-observation alone. These results suggest that pairing self-observation with a skilled model is better in a gymnastic setting than self-observation alone.