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Application of analogy learning in softball batting: Comparing novice and intermediate players.

Capio, Catherine M and Uiga, Liis and Lee, Man Hong and Masters, Rich SW (2019) Application of analogy learning in softball batting: Comparing novice and intermediate players. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 9 (3). pp. 357-370. ISSN 2157-3905

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Abstract

Thisfield-based study developed and implemented analogy instructions for softballbatting, and examined batting performance outcomes. A focus-group discussioninvolving a coach and a number of team captains of a collegiate-level softball teamidentified the typical instructions used for batting (i.e., explicit) and developed ananalogy instruction that combined these rules in 1 biomechanical metaphor (i.e.,swing your bat like you are breaking a tree in front of you with an axe). A total of40 collegiate-level club players (20 novices and 20 intermediates) were assigned toeither an analogy learning or an explicit learning group and took part in 6 trainingsessions. Batting performance was assessed using a standardized criteria-basedrating scale in single-task pretest and posttest, and a dual-task test after training.The findings show that the novice, but not the intermediate players, displayedsignificant improvements in batting performance after training. Novices who re-ceived the analogy instruction displayed stable batting performance in the dual-tasktest, but novices who received explicit instructions, and intermediate players whoreceived the analogy instruction, displayed batting performance decrements. Thefindings suggest that the benefits of analogy instructions are evident only innovices; learners’ previous experiences must, therefore, be carefully consideredwhen developing coaching programs.

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