Reinforcement In Gymnastics

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Gymnastics it is not only a great source for physical exercise but also a great source for encouraging discipline as well as time-management skills. In addition, it is an important arena where feedback, reinforcement, and motivation are working together to help, both the gymnast and trainer in achieving better performance. For gymnasts, this can be translated into taking pride in accomplishments, feeling competent, enjoying the process while learning new skills. For coaches, it is the satisfaction of assisting and providing support to the gymnasts, being part of the growth process in improving their performance and/or achieving new skills. (Weider, 2015)
One important tool that is essential for gymnastic coaches is feedback
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Although many principles are related to changing behavior, there are two basic premises for a reinforcement to be effective. Those premises are either positive (being rewarded) or negative (being punished) consequences. If the result is a good consequence such as being rewarded, people are most likely to repeat the behavior. Whereas, on a negative consequence, such as being punished, the behavior will tend to avoid it. Three directions of reinforcement can be seen here. The first one, external reinforcement, refers to that, people regulate their behavior on the basis of consequences they have directly experienced. The second is vicarious reinforcement and occurs when a behavior is acquired by observation versus being acquired directly. Whereas, self-administered reinforcement, refers to people regulating their behavior on the basis or consequences that they created for themselves. (internet)
In the early stages of learning it is desirable that reinforcement is continuous and immediate. However, on a later stage of learning, reinforcement process needs to be more intermittent to be more effective. Positive reinforcement can take many forms. Some of these are verbal compliments, smiles, pat on the back or other nonverbal behavior that shows or implies approval. Smith & Smoll (1997), demonstrates that athletes who play for positively oriented coaches enjoys their athletic experience more, likes their trainers
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By doing so, coaches demonstrate they care and are concerned with helping the learner. Performance feedback is a technique for improving performance in sport and research studies that has flow into this direction (Huberman &O`Brien,1999; Stokes, Luselli, &Reed,2010; Stokes, Luselli, Reed & Fleming,2010). Evidence shows that this type of feedback is effective in enhancing performance by 53% on average. Moreover, a study by Mouratidis, Lens & Vansteenkiste (2010), emphasizes that how corrective feedback is provided, makes a difference in the performer`s motivation, emotional regulation, and performance. However, providing corrective feedback as a response to mistakes or poor performance it`s more a supportive rather than a controlling manner. The result shows increased levels of intrinsic motivation and positive affect and performance. (Weider,2015)
Moreover, the two main benefits from feedback are to motivate and to instruct.
Motivational feedback facilitates performance by enhancing confidence, inspiring greater effort and creating a positive mood. Expressions such as “You can do it”, “Hang in there”, or “Get tough”, are a just some examples. Another motivational function of feedback refers to establishing a goal-settings program. Last, instructional feedback provides information about the specific behaviors that should be performed and the levels of proficiency that should be achieved. Moreover, provides the performer`s

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