Effective Coaching in Action: Observations of Legendary Collegiate Basketball Coach Pat Summitt

Becker, Andrea J.; Wrisberg, Craig A.
June 2008
Sport Psychologist;Jun2008, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p197
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to systematically examine the practice behaviors of Pat Summitt, the winningest collegiate basketball coach in NCAA Division I history. Throughout the 2004-05 season, Summitt's verbal and nonverbal behaviors were video recorded during six practices. A total of 3,296 behaviors were observed and coded using the Arizona State University Observation Instrument (Lacy & Darst, 1984). Results indicated that 55% (n = 1810) of Summitt's behaviors were directed toward the team, whereas 45% (n = 1,486) were directed toward individual players. The most frequent behavior was instruction (48%, n = 1,586) followed by praise (14.5%, n = 478) and hustle (10.7%, n = 351). Contrary to predictions, no differences were found in the quantity or quality of the coaching behaviors that Summitt directed toward high and low expectancy players.


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