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Kristine L. Chambers and Joan N. Vickers

The effects of a coaching intervention involving Bandwidth Feedback and Questioning (BF-Q) on competitive swim times (cTIME), practice swim times (pTIME), and technique (TECH) were determined for competitive youth swimmers. The pre-post-transfer design spanned one short-course (25m) swim season. It was concluded that coaching in which feedback was delayed and replaced with questions directed to the athletes contributed to improved technique and subsequent faster race times. Compared to the Control group, the BF-Q group displayed greater gains in TECH during the intervention period and greater improvement in cTIME during the transfer period. Results are presented in a context of cognitive psychology, motor learning, and questioning. Applications to coaching practice and coach training are also discussed.

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Mathieu Simon Paul Meeûs, Sidónio Serpa and Bert De Cuyper

This study examined the effects of video feedback on the nonverbal behavior of handball coaches, and athletes’ and coaches’ anxieties and perceptions. One intervention group (49 participants) and one control group (63 participants) completed the Coaching Behavior Assessment System, Coaching Behavior Questionnaire, and Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 on two separate occasions, with 7 weeks of elapsed time between each administration. Coaches in the intervention condition received video feedback and a frequency table with a comparison of their personal answers and their team’s answers on the CB AS. Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed that over time, athletes in the intervention group reported significantly less anxiety and perceived their coaches significantly more positively compared with athletes in the nonintervention condition. Over time, coaches in the intervention group perceived themselves significantly more positively than coaches in the nonintervention condition. Compared with field athletes, goalkeepers were significantly more anxious and perceived their coaches less positively. It is concluded that an intervention using video feedback might have positive effects on anxiety and coach perception and that field athletes and goalkeepers possess different profiles.

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Jed A. Diekfuss and Louisa D. Raisbeck

An external focus of attention, as opposed to an internal focus of attention, has been shown to increase performance and enhance learning. However, little research has examined whether these findings have been integrated into collegiate coaching and adopted by student-athlete performers. The purpose of this study was to examine the verbal instructions and instructional feedback provided by NCAA division 1 collegiate coaches during practice and how it influenced student-athletes’ focus of attention during competition. Thirty-one student-athletes completed a questionnaire that inquired about coaches’ verbal instructions and instructional feedback during practice and student-athletes’ focus of attention during competition. Fifty percent of participants reported that their coaches instructed them to focus their attention internally and only four participants reported that their coaches instructed them to focus externally. Our results also showed that coaches provided an equal amount of internal and external instructional feedback. During competition, however, the majority of participants reported statements that fell under the category of “winning and strategy.” These results suggest that the beneficial effects of an external focus of attention have not been integrated into NCAA division 1 collegiate coaching and the focus of attention adopted by student-athletes may be more complex than what is studied in laboratory research.

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K. Michelle Hume, Garry L. Martin, Patricia Gonzalez, Clayton Cracklen and Sheldon Genthon

Behavioral coaching techniques consisting of instructions, a self-monitoring checklist, and coach feedback were examined at freestyle practice sessions with three female prenovice figure skaters. These techniques were compared to normal coaching procedures for their effects on the frequency of jumps and spins performed, the number of times a skater practiced a routine to music, and the amount of time spent engaging in off-task behaviors during 45-min free-skating sessions. Within a reversal-replication design, the behavioral coaching techniques produced considerable improvement on all dependent measures. Social validation measures indicated that the procedures improved quality of skating and were rated positively by the coach and by two of the three skaters.

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Mark Byra and Mary C. Marks

In the reciprocal style of teaching learners are paired, and as one practices the task, the other provides immediate feedback. This study examined the effect of pairing learners in the reciprocal style by ability (high, low, and mixed) and by companionship (friend and nonacquaintance) on provision of feedback and perceived comfort while learning motor skills. Thirty-two students between 9 and 12 years of age practiced soccer juggling during a 25-minute lesson and soccer dribbling during another 25-minute lesson, in both of which they were paired for similar versus different ability and for friend versus nonaquaintance. After each lesson, the students were asked how comfortable they felt giving and receiving feedback. The results showed that the observers gave specific feedback more frequently to friends than nonacquaintances, and that the doers felt more comfortable receiving feedback from friends than nonacquaintances. Learner ability level did not affect the amount of specific feedback provided by the observer or the doer comfort in receiving feedback. This study supports several claims set forth by Mosston and Ashworth (1986) for the reciprocal style of teaching.

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Rita Byde and Bruce A. McClenaghan

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of selected types of feedback on the performance of an anticipation timing task by moderately mentally retarded children. Seventeen children, aged 10 to 16 years and classified as moderately mentally retarded (IQ = 44, range 32-54) participated as subjects for this investigation. Subjects were required to perform a key press response in anticipation to the arrival of a stimulus light. Data were analyzed utilizing a 4(treatment) × 2(gender) × 3(group) analysis of variance on the dependent variables. No significant main or interactive effects were found. Several possible explanations may account for these results including, (a) age range of the subjects may have biased the results, (b) the moderately retarded child may have had insufficient motor skills to successfully perform the tasks, (c) the personality characteristics of the subjects prevented them from perceiving their impact on performance, and/or (d) the type of feedback provided may not have been appropriately interpreted by the subjects.

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Monica Fabian Lounsbery and Tom Sharpe

This study, conducted within an undergraduate Methods of Teaching Physical Education and School-Based Practice Teaching course, used an AB maintenance-across-participants design to (a) sequentially describe preservice teachers’ (N = 4) instructional interactions with students, (b) examine the effects of sequential feedback on the sequential nature of preservice teachers’ instructional interactions with students, and (c) assess the influence of differential sequential preservice teacher instructional interactions on student skill practice. Instructional interaction sequential data indicated that explicit teacher instruction and refinement were sequentially connected to student-appropriate skill practice, while general teacher instruction was sequentially connected to student-inappropriate skill practice. The data indicated that the sequential feedback protocol (a) consistently increased the incidence of refinement and explicit instruction within preservice teacher sequential instructional interactions for all participants, and (b) preservice teacher sequential pattern changes positively influenced the incidence of student-appropriate skill practice. This study also supports a strong relationship between explicit instruction and refinement and student-appropriate skill practice. Implications for further research into the sequential behavior determinants of the teaching and learning process in situational context are discussed last.

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Michael Joch, Mathias Hegele, Heiko Maurer, Hermann Müller and Lisa K. Maurer

Motor learning can be monitored by observing the development of neural correlates of error processing. Among these neural correlates, the error- and feedback-related negativity (Ne/ERN and FRN) represent error processing mechanisms. While the Ne/ERN is more related to error prediction, the FRN is found after an error is manifested. The questions the current study strives to answer are: What information is needed by the system to make error predictions and how is this represented by the Ne/ERN and FRN in a complex motor task? We reduced the information and increased the difficulty level for the prediction in a semivirtual throwing task and found no Ne/ERN but a large FRN when the action result was finally observed (hitting or missing a target). We assume that uncertainty for error prediction was too high (either due to insufficient information or due to lacking prerequisites for prediction), such that error processing had to be mainly based on feedback. The finding is in line with the reinforcement theory of learning, after which Ne/ERN and FRN should behave complementary.

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Laura Yan Lan and Diane L. Gill

The influence of self-efficacy on physiological arousal and self-reported anxiety was examined in the first phase of this study. All 32 undergraduate females in the study performed five trials of both an easy task and a difficult task, with half of them performing the easy task first and half performing the difficult task first. A manipulation check revealed that the easy task clearly elicited higher self-efficacy than the difficult task. Individuals reported lower cognitive and somatic anxiety and higher self-confidence, as assessed with the CSAI-2, and had lower heart-rate increases when performing the easy (high-efficacious) task. After the subjects finished both the easy and difficult tasks, half of them were given a cognitive feedback manipulation suggesting that elevated arousal levels were typical responses of good competitors under stress. Contrary to predictions, the manipulation did not induce higher self-efficacy and the manipulation group did not differ from the no-manipulation group on self-reported anxiety scores or heart rates. The findings support Bandura's contention that self-efficacy mediates arousal changes and demonstrate the influence of self-efficacy on multidimensional anxiety measures, but fail to demonstrate any influence of a cognitive feedback manipulation on self-efficacy or subsequent stress responses.

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Digby Elliott, Kathryn L. Ricker and James Lyons

Fifteen participants practiced a two-target sequential aiming movement with either full vision of the movement environment, vision during flight, or vision while in contact with the first target. After 100 acquisition trials, participants performed a retention test in their own condition and then were transferred to each of the other two vision conditions. Both performance and kinematic data indicated that rather than becoming less dependent on visual information with practice, subjects learned to adjust their movement trajectories to use the visual information available in their particular vision condition. Although transfer to a degraded vision condition disrupted performance, when vision was augmented participants quickly adjusted their aiming trajectories to use the added information. The findings suggest that at least part of learning involves the development of rapid and efficient procedures for processing afferent information, including visual response-produced feedback.