A number of experiments have demonstrated the considerable potential of behavior modification techniques for improving performance of beginners in sport and physical education. Several books have presented a consistent behavioral analysis of factors that influence the development and maintenance of athletic behavior. From these sources, an approach is beginning to emerge that might be called "effective behavioral coaching." This paper discusses six characteristics that appear to make this approach distinctive and potentially valuable for coaches.
Garry Martin and Dennis Hrycaiko
Thomas D. Patrick and Dennis W. Hrycaiko
This study aimed to examine the effects of a mental training package on the performance of a 1600-m run. Participants were 3 male triathletes and 1 male elite runner. A single-subject multiple baseline across individuals design was employed to evaluate the treatment package. Results demonstrated that the mental training package was effective in improving the running performance of the three participants who received intervention. Social validation results were favorable and indicated that participants enjoyed using the mental training package and were pleased with the results. Further, coaches felt that the results were important, especially those for the elite track athlete.
Gail Kendall, Dennis Hrycaiko, Garry L. Martin, and Tom Kendall
This study investigated the effects of an imagery rehearsal, relaxation, and self-talk package on the performance of a specific defensive basketball skill during competition. Subjects were four female intercollegiate basketball players. A single-subject multiple-baseline-across-individuals design was employed to evaluate the intervention package. The intervention was clearly effective in enhancing a basketball skill during games, and social validity measures were very positive. The need for further research in this area is discussed.
Melanie J. Gregg, Dennis Hrycaiko, Jennifer B. Mactavish, and Garry L. Martin
The purpose in this study was to replicate and extend the mental skills training (MST) package of Wanlin, Hrycaiko, Martin, and Mahon (1997) to Special Olympics track and field athletes with intellectual disabilities. Three participants ranged in age from 21 to 23 years. A multiple baseline design across individuals was used to assess the effects of the intervention on off-task behaviors and athletic performance (i.e., work output and competition results). The results were clearly beneficial for two participants, decreasing the frequency and duraton of off-task behaviors and increasing the percentage of laps completed for the third participant. A social validity assessment provided further support for the effectiveness of the intervention.
Janelle J.M. Johnson, Dennis W. Hrycaiko, Gary V. Johnson, and Joannie M. Halas
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of teaching skilled athletes to use self-talk (ST) and gain insight on the athlete’s perceptions of the ST intervention and how it influenced their performance. The participants were four female players from an “elite” under fourteen female regional soccer team. A single-subject design, the multiple baseline across individuals, was used to examine the effects of the ST strategy on performance. The results of the study demonstrated that the ST strategy improved soccer shooting performance for two of the three experimental participants. The social validity assessment found that both the coach and the participants were very satisfied with the results and believed the ST strategy to be an important component in improving their performance.