An analysis of teaching and coaching behaviors of strength and conditioning coaches using systematic observation

Christopher Dwayne Massey

Abstract

This investigation examined the specific coaching behaviors exhibited by six head strength and conditioning coaches working with football players across two Division IA conferences. Three strength and conditioning coaches from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Conference USA (CUSA) were chosen as the subjects of this study. The instrument used to conduct this study was a modified form of the Arizona State University Coaching Observation Instrument (ASUOI). Each coach was observed on three occasions. An interval of five seconds was used for the coding of behavior. Each observation session was 40 minutes in length. These sessions (18) were videotaped for more accurate coding of behavior. The data collected in this study consisted of a percentage analysis of individual coaching behaviors, coaching behaviors by conference, and coaching behaviors by conference and 10-minute time period. A univariate analysis was conducted on this data to determine teaching/coaching differences between coaches due to conference affiliation. The most frequently utilized behaviors in the study were Silent Monitoring (21.99%), Management (14.62%), Hustle (11.12%), and Other (10.99%). When combined these categories accounted for 58.72% of observed behaviors. The first 7 categories of the ASUOI are known as the INSTRUCTIONAL category. When the categories were compartmentalized it was found that 18.56% of the coaches' total behaviors occurred within this area. The categories of Hustle, Praise, and Scold are known as the FEEDBACK category of the ASUOI. When these categories were compartmentalized it was found that 17.02% of the coaches' behavior occurred in this area. Without Scold (.37%), the Hustle (11.12%) and Praise (5.53%) categories accounted for 16.65% of behaviors observed. The univariate analyses revealed that the CUSA coaches had significant differences in the behaviors of Questioning and Praise, while the SEC coaches had significant differences in the Scold and Management areas of the investigation. The finds of this investigation differ from the majority of studies on coaches utilizing the ASUOI. Past studies found that instruction was the predominant behavior, whereas this study found that Silent Monitoring was the predominant behavior exhibited by the subjects. This finding is germane with what strength and conditioning coaches do on a daily basis due to the closed nature of the activity.