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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Analysis and modification of verbal coaching behaviour: the utility of a data driven intervention strategy More, Kenneth George


Systematic observation instruments have been developed to provide valid and reliable information on key elements of effective instruction in the physical education and sport environment. The instruments used in research on verbal behaviour, however, (Lacy & Darst, 1985; Segrave & Ciancio, 1990) do not fully describe instructional style and, therefore, any behaviour modification based on such assessment is limited to the scope of the instrument. The Coach Analysis Instrument II (CAI (II), [More et al, 1992]), was designed to provide a more complete description of the verbal skills required for discriminative behaviour, such that this explicit information could be used as a means of analyzing and modifying aspects of ineffective behaviour. The proposed study tested the utility of the CAI (II) as part of an Intervention strategy designed to modify behaviour. Four coaches were observed and analyzed across twelve practice sessions. Coaches A, B and C received intervention feedback through CAI (II) data, where selected behaviours were highlighted for discussion, and video-tape evidence was used to Illustrate discussion points. Coach D was provided with videotapes of his own performance, and told to formulate and implement any of his own recommendations. The CAI (II) data is primarily quantitative, so target values were created for the different dimensions of verbal behaviour. This benefitted the coaches in interpreting their effectiveness and provided a reference to evaluate the magnitude of change. Written journals and audio-tape recordings were also utilized to promote insight into the complexity of verbal behaviour and the "human factors" (e.g., relationship with players, attitude to researcher) that affect behaviour modification. Change was quantified according to the "organizational" and "instructional" components of the CAI (II). Interpretation of cumulative values for organizational effectiveness revealed marked improvements in Coach A and B's behaviour following intervention, and marginal improvement in the clarity and conciseness of Coach C. Marginal change was also reported in the organizational behaviour of Coach D, although this was not maintained. Instructional effectiveness was assessed by time-series analysis, according to recognized criteria (Grant, Ballard & Glynn, 1990; Kadzin, 1978). There is evidence from each behaviour dimension that change can occur and be maintained as a result of exposure to the CAI (II) intervention strategy. However, this is clearly contingent upon the coach understanding what is asked of him, and remaining focussed and committed to changing these particular behaviours. The analysis of Coach D 's behavioural change suggests there are limitations to the sensitivity of discretionary viewing, as only two dimensions of behaviour were identified for, and resulted in, positive change. The results of this study provide support for Locke's (1984) contention that behaviour modification can occur by using data as direct feedback, as reinforcement, and as information in the form of recommendations. However, the study also illuminates several factors that can negate the modification and maintenance of verbal coaching behaviour.

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