Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Joe Olmi

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. James Moore

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Mr. Kyle Rowsey

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Recently, concerns regarding sport-related concussions have increased within the research literature, the media, and popular culture. It is unknown to what degree purposefully striking the ball with one’s head (i.e. heading) contributes to concussions within youth soccer. There is currently limited research on an effective teaching method to improve heading technique. Due to the numerous applications of Behavioral Skills Training (BST) to teach a wide variety of behaviors, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of BST to teach correct heading techniques to youth soccer players. A task analysis was produced to score each header. Results indicated that BST increased the percentage of correct steps for each player. Based on social validity questionnaires administered to players and the coach, BST was rated as an acceptable form of training. After the final training session, experienced coaches evaluated video recordings of baseline and training sessions for each player and rated each player as having improved from baseline to training.

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