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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #289
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis for Enhancing Sports Performance
Sunday, May 28, 2017
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 4
Area: CBM/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D.
Chair: Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This symposium includes three papers illustrating applied behavior analysis applications to sports performance. Tai and Miltenberger evaluated behavioral skills training to improve safe tackling skills for youth football players. They demonstrated the effectiveness of the intervention in a multiple baseline across participants design with six players who engaged in unsafe tackling during baseline. Dyal and Miltenberger evaluated expert video modeling and video feedback for enhancing the performance of track and field sprinters in the starting block. The intervention was implemented in a multiple baseline across participants design with four 12 and 13 years old girls during their regular track club practice and the results showed substantial improvements for all participants. Sniffen and Williams used a multiple baseline across skills to evaluate acoustical feedback (aka, teaching with acoustical guidance or TAGteach) to enhance the pitching performance of two fast pitch softball pitchers. Results showed that the intervention increased pitching skills for both participants with improvements generalizing to games.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): acoustical feedback, BST, video feedback, video modeling
Evaluating Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Safe Tackling Skills to Youth Football Players
SHARAYAH TAI (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Concussion rates and other head injuries for football players have been on the rise and there is a need for further research in football to increase skills and decrease injuries. These head injuries arise mostly from unsafe tackling techniques in which the player leads with the top of the helmet while making a tackle. Behavioral skills training has been proven to be effective in teaching a wide variety of skills but has yet to be studied in the sports setting. We evaluated behavioral skills training (instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback) to teach safer tackling techniques among six participants from a local Pop Warner football team. Following baseline in which participants demonstrated tackles with no feedback, we evaluated behavioral skills training implemented in a multiple baseline across participants design. Results show safer tackling techniques increased substantially during practice among all six participants and the skills generalized to games for those individuals who made tackles during games.
Using Expert Modeling and Video Feedback to Improve Starting Block Execution With Sprinters
APRIL DYAL (University Of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: During short races (sprints), sprinters use starting blocks to push off to start the race. Correct formation during starting block execution is important for injury prevention and obtaining maximum velocity during the sprint. A promising method to improve sports performance is expert modeling plus video feedback that allows the athlete to evaluate her performance from video against that of an expert shown on video. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of expert modeling and video feedback to improve form during block starts with track and field sprinters. Four 12 and 13 year old girls who were members of the same track club participated. Following baseline in which the sprinters showed their starting block form with no feedback or other instruction, the sprinters each participated in the expert video modeling and video feedback intervention in a multiple baseline across participants design. Results revealed marked improvement across all four participants once intervention was applied and maintenance of the improvements at follow-up.
Evaluating TAGteach as a Training Procedure for Novice-to-Advanced Fastpitch Softball Pitchers
BREANNA SNIFFEN (Rollins College), April Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Among the many behavioral coaching techniques available, acoustical feedback has been found to be highly effective in enhancing the athletic skills involved in a variety of sports (e.g. football, golf, dance, yoga, judo). TAGteach is a procedure in which a clicker is used to deliver immediate acoustical feedback to train a new skill or enhance a skill already in the subject’s repertoire. The current study was conducted to evaluate whether TAGteach was effective in developing and/or enhancing the pitching skills of novice-to-advanced fastpitch softball pitchers. TAGteach was implemented in a multiple baseline design across skill with two subjects; Hannah’s selected pitch was a fastball (skill already in repertoire) and Megan’s selected pitches were fastball and change up (skill already in repertoire and novel skill, respectively). Results demonstrated an improvement in proper mechanics for each subject’s selected pitch or pitches. We also probed for and showed performance generalization from training sessions to game competitions for each subject.


Modifed by Eddie Soh