In response to a local youth sport organization's request, this study was designed to assess and, if necessary, modify the verbalizations made by adult observers of youth league (i.e., T-ball) baseball games toward the athletes, officials, and other observers. In a multiple baseline design across the observers of three teams, verbalizations were rated for content (i.e., positive, neutral, negative), target (i.e., child's team, umpire, opposing team, fan), and precipitating event (e.g., homerun, fly out) over a six-game season. Baseline results revealed that 3.42% of the observed intervals were composed of positive verbalizations, 7.50% of neutral, .28% of negative, and 88.80% of no statement. Following baseline, a self-instructional treatment utilizing a series of leaflets distributed across games was implemented to increase positive verbalizations. Treatment did not increase positive verbalizations; however, a follow-up questionnaire indicated that adult observers believed the leaflets had resulted in their increasing their frequency of positive verbalizations. Results are discussed in terms of the role of adult expectations of performance, attention given to low frequency occurrence of negative verbalizations, and future intervention strategies.
Page B. Walley, George M. Graham, and Rex Forehand
Luis Calmeiro and Gershon Tenenbaum
The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of concurrent verbal protocols to identify and map thought processes of players during a golf-putting task. Three novice golfers and three experienced golfers performed twenty 12-foot putts while thinking aloud. Verbalizations were transcribed verbatim and coded using an inductive method. Content analysis and event-sequence analysis were performed. Mapping of thought sequences indicated that experienced players’ cognitive processes centered on gathering information and planning, while beginners focused on technical aspects. Experienced players diagnosed current performance aspects more often than beginners did and were more likely to use this information to plan the next putt. These results are consistent with experienced players’ higher domain-specific knowledge and less reliance on step-by-step monitoring of motor performance than beginners. The methods used for recording, analyzing, and interpreting on-line thoughts of performers shed light on cognitive processes, which have implications for research.
Ahmos Rolider, John Cooper, and Ron Van Houten
Philomena B. Ikulayo and Johnson A. Semidara
This article discusses unorthodox sport psychology practices typical with Nigerian athletes, which differ from Western mainstream practice models. These practices are specific Nigerian cultural approaches to sport psychology and are based on two broad types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The intrinsic aspects include prayers, chanting of songs, verbalization of incantations, psyching verses, and juju and spirits in motivational processes. The extrinsic strategies include praise singing, audience verbalization, drumming effects, persistent silent audiences’ effects, and presence of important persons as spectators or part of the audience. The article concludes with the hope that some of these unique practice strategies will be further researched and will be viable for adoption by athletes in other nations of the world who believe in their power so that multicultural practices can help advance the field of sport psychology.
Rose Martini, A.E. Ted Wall, and Bruce M. Shore
The use of metacognition differs with different levels of cognitive ability, but it is not known whether children of different psychomotor abilities use metacognition differently. This study used a think-aloud protocol to compare the active use of metacognition in children with different psychomotor abilities—high skill, average, developmental coordination disorder (DCD)—during a ball-throwing task. Children with DCD did not verbalize fewer or different metacognitive concepts than either the average or high skill children; however, relative to their counterparts, a significant median proportion of the concepts verbalized by children with DCD were found to be inappropriate or inaccurate. These findings reflect ineffective metacognitive processing by children with DCD during a psychomotor task.
Meghann Lloyd, Greg Reid, and Marcel Bouffard
The research purpose was to examine the domain specific self-regulatory skills of boys with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD, n = 10) compared to peers without DCD (n = 10). A sport specific problem-solving task (hockey shot) and an educational problem-solving task (peg solitaire) were compared. Guided by Zimmerman’s (2000) social cognitive model of self-regulation, participants were taught to think aloud. Codes were developed under five categories: goals, knowledge, emotion, monitoring, and evaluation. The quantity of verbalization was similar in both groups but differences were found in verbalization quality. Results indicate that boys with DCD have emotional and planning differences on the hockey task, but only planning differences were evident on the peg solitaire task.
Amy Elizabeth Whitehead, Brendan Cropley, Tabo Huntley, Andy Miles, Laura Quayle, and Zoe Knowles
This study aimed to design, implement and evaluate a protocol encompassing Think Aloud (TA) as a technique to facilitate reflection-in-action and delayed reflection-on-action to aid coach learning. Six British, male rugby league coaches, who reported little previous exposure to reflective practice, consented to participate. Participants were: (a) instructed on how to engage in TA; (b) observed in practice using TA; (c) provided with individual support on delayed reflective practice on their first coaching session and use of TA; (d) observed in practice using TA a second time; and (e) engaged in a social validation interview regarding their experiences of TA. Analysis of in-action verbalizations revealed a shift from descriptive verbalizations to a deeper level of reflection. Both immediate and post eight week social validation interviews revealed that coaches developed an increased awareness, enhanced communication, and pedagogical development. The participants also recommended that TA can be a valuable tool for: (a) collecting in-event data during a coaching session; and (b) developing and evidencing reflection for coaches. Future recommendations were also provided by the participants and consequently, this study offers a unique technique to reflective practice that has the potential to meet the learning development needs of coaches.
Benoît Lenzen, Catherine Theunissen, and Marc Cloes
This exploratory study aimed to investigate elements involved in decision making in team handball live situations and to provide coaches and educators with teaching recommendations. The study was positioned within the framework of the situated action paradigm of which two aspects were of particular interest for this project: (a) the relationship between planning and action, and (b) the perception-action coordination. We used qualitative methods that linked (a) video observation of six female elite players’ actions during two championship matches and (b) self-confrontation interviews. Players’ verbalizations reflected that their decision making included the following: (a) perception (visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive), (b) knowledge (concepts, teammates and opponents’ characteristics, experience), (c) expectations (opponents and teammates’ intentions), and (d) contextual elements (score, power play, players on the field, match difficulty). Findings were discussed in terms of teaching implications.
Hans Vangrunderbeek, Maarten De Backer, Liam McCarthy, Evi Buelens, and Hans Ponnet
Alongside knowledge and understanding of the sport (what to coach) and strategies to support learning (how to coach), critical reflection is an important feature of high-quality coaching practice. Accordingly, there is a clear need for evidence-based tools and frameworks for appreciating and developing coaches’ critical reflection skills, through coach education programs. The purpose of this study is to share the results of an intervention intended to develop coaches’ critical reflection skills through a formal gymnastics coach education program within the Flemish School for Coach Education (Belgium). A pre–post test design was used to compare the development of written critical reflection skills in 25 gymnastics coaches (14 intervention and 11 control). Statistical analysis of data revealed that the intervention had a significant (p < .01) impact on the quality of coaches’ critical reflection. Coaches exhibited a positive, upward, trajectory from descriptive verbalizations to a deeper level of self-awareness, and greater criticality, along with demonstrating a willingness to adopt alternative ideas/approaches. Findings are discussed in relation to existing research on critical reflection as a feature of coach education. This study offers a unique critical reflection strategy that has the potential to meet the learning development needs of coaches in a formal coach education program.
Phil D.J. Birch, Beth Yeoman, and Amy E. Whitehead
-regulatory skills within athletes. One method that has been previously used within practitioner (e.g., coaching and nursing) settings to promote reflection is Think Aloud (TA: Ericsson & Simon, 1993 ; Whitehead, Cropley, et al., 2016 ). TA involves an individual verbalizing his/her/their thought process