An Analysis of Teaching Behaviors Through Systematic Observation of Basketball Coaches

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Performance and Recreation

First Advisor

Walter Cooper

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation


The goal of this study was to observe coaches and their coaching behaviors. The subjects were nine coaches, three males coaching males, three males coaching females, and three female coaches coaching females. Each of the nine coaches was the head basketball coach at his/her respective college or university. Subjects were studied, utilizing the Arizona State University Observation Instrument (ASUOI) through interval recording, during the 1990-91 season. Observation sessions, made during both practices and games, were forty minutes in duration and were videotaped to increase reliability. The hypotheses were tested for statistical significance by using analysis of variance (ANOVA) with a p $<$.05 level of rejection. Results of this analysis demonstrated statistical significance between the three coaching groups practice and game behaviors in the use of Teaching Behaviors (F =.7.44, df = $1\over 6$, p =.0343), and Silence between practice and game setting (F = 14.80, df = $1\over 6$, p =.0085). No interaction was discovered (Group x Time) for any of the categories tested. A practical difference was suggested by the percentages of praise and scold behaviors between the three groups of coaches, along with the differences in the praise/scold ratio. Silence was found to be the dominant practice and game behavior for all three categories of coaches followed by instructional behavior. Additionally, one hypothesis, involving previous research (Tharp & Galimore, 1978) on Coach John Wooden's coaching behaviors, was tested for statistical significance using a single-sample t-test. Statistical results of this hypothesis showed no difference when the teaching behaviors of male coaches were compared to Coach John Wooden. Results indicate a need to (1) further analyze the Silence category in the ASU Observation Instrument; (2) further define the role of assistant coaches and their coaching behaviors; and, (3) consider the interactions between behaviors of coaches and athletes.