Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #250
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Coaching Methods to Improve Sport and Fitness Performance
Sunday, May 27, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom DE
Area: DEV/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)
Discussant: Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D.

Behavioral coaching methods apply behavior analytic principles and strategies (e.g., positive and negative reinforcement, task analyzing skills, and behavioral skills training) and have been used to improve performance across a variety of sport and fitness skills (e.g., Luiselli, Wood, & Reed, 2011). Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of various behavioral coaching strategies to teach a variety of sport and fitness skills, such as soccer (Brobst & Ward, 2002), football (Harrison & Pyles, 2013; Stokes, Luiselli, & Reed, 2010), dance (Quinn, Miltenberger, & Fogel, 2015), basketball (Kladopoulos & McComas, 2001), and golf (Fogel, Weil, & Burris, 2010). This symposium reviews four studies designed to evaluate (a) the TAGteach intervention package to teach beginner yoga poses to novice adult yoga practitioners, (b) a negative reinforcement procedure to improve passing performance of female college lacrosse players, (c) behavioral skills training to improve field hockey hits of young players, and (d) auditory feedback to improve throwing a "right cross" in adult mixed martial arts students. Across all studies, results demonstrated the effectiveness of these behavioral coaching methods to improve independent performance of these sports and fitness skills. Results are discussed in terms of implications, limitations, and considerations for future research.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): auditory feedback, negative reinforcement, sports performance, TAGteach
Target Audience:

Graduate students Teachers and coaches Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the components of the TAGteach intervention package. 2. Describe the use of negative reinforcement to improve performance of college athletes. 3. Describe the use of auditory feedback to increase sports performance. 4. Describe the application of behavioral skills training to teach sports skills to young athletes.
Comparison of TAGteach Error-Correction Procedures to Teach Beginner Yoga Poses to Novice Adult Practitioners
TALIA MARIA ENNETT (Brock University), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University), Kendra Thomson (Brock University ), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
Abstract: TAGteach is a multi-component intervention package involving the use of teaching with acoustical guidance (TAG), a teaching procedure that uses an audible stimulus (e.g., click sound) to indicate that a desired behaviour has occurred (Fogel, Weil, & Burris, 2010). TAGteach has been found to effectively improve performance in sports (Fogel et al., 2010), dance (Quinn, Miltenberger, & Fogel, 2015), surgical techniques (Levy, Pryor, & McKeon, 2016), and walking (Persicke, Jackson, & Adams, 2014). An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of the standard TAGteach error-correction procedure and a modified TAGteach error-correction procedure to teach four novice adult yoga practitioners beginner yoga poses. Results showed that both error-correction procedures were effective for all participants; however, the relative efficiency of these error-correction procedures remains unclear. Results are discussed in terms of implications, limitations, and considerations for future research.

Improving Passing Performance of Women's College Lacrosse Players

JESSE DEPAOLO (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicole Gravina (Florida Institute of Technology), Ada C. Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology)

This study examined the use of negative reinforcement to improve performance of female college athletes. Twelve varsity lacrosse players who attended a private college in the Southeastern United States participated in the study. The team coaches wanted players to "put names on passes" defined as saying the name of a player who should catch the ball at least one second before the catch. A total of 100 passes were recorded during a practice and for every 20 passes that included a name, the players had to run one less of five mandatory end-of-practice sprints. The intervention was evaluated using an ABAB design. Results indicated that negative reinforcement was successful for improving names on passes but performance did not sustain when the intervention was removed. Players rated the intervention as acceptable but only 7 out of 12 thought it should continue to be used in future practices.

The Effect of Behavioral Skills Training on Shot Performance in Field Hockey
KELSEY O'NEILL (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Behavior analysis procedures have been used to improve sports performance and enhance player safety across a wide variety of sports. Some sports that have been evaluated include, but are not limited to, soccer, football, dancing, pole vaulting, basketball, and golf. A sample of the application of behavior analysis to enhancing sports performance consists of behavioral coaching, performance posting, goal setting, TAGteach, and more recently, behavioral skills training. Behavioral skills training is an active learning process that consists of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback of a target behavior. The current study evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training on three common field hockey hits, a slap shot, drive, and sweep for three young field hockey players. The procedures were evaluated in a multiple baseline across behaviors for three players. Results showed increases in each type of shot once intervention was implemented for each player. Results also indicated that participants felt more confident in their shot performance once intervention was implemented.
Using Auditory Feedback to Improve Striking for Mixed Martial Artists
FRANK KRUKUASKAS (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Paul F. Gavoni (Kaleidoscope Interventions)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate auditory feedback to increase the effectiveness of throwing a "right cross.” Auditory feedback was evaluated in multiple baselines across participants design with 4 mixed martial arts students, two males and two females, 25-54 years old. The percentage of correct steps of the right cross improved substantially following the introduction of the auditory feedback, and maintained at 90% or more for all participants during follow-up.



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