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Interactive Decision Making and Behavior of Experienced and Inexperienced Basketball Coaches during Practice

Dennis Floyd Jones, Lynn Dale Housner, and Alan Seth Kornspan

This study compared 10 experienced high school and 10 inexperienced junior high and middle school basketball coaches as they executed a 30-minute practice session on the “give and go” play in basketball. The coaches were given 30 minutes to plan a practice session. Following planning, coaches implemented their practice plan. Analysis of coaches’ behavior and interactive decision making indicated that experienced coaches exhibited significantly more technical instruction, whereas inexperienced coaches exhibited significantly higher frequencies of silent observation. With regard to interactive decision making, results indicated that both experienced and inexperienced coaches implemented practice in ways consistent with their plans. Experienced coaches, however, were significantly more reluctant to change their plans when problems were perceived. Despite these differences, experienced and inexperienced coaches exhibited greater similarities than differences. Limitations of research based on the behavioral analyses of the frequencies of thoughts and behaviors are discussed and directions for future research are presented.