IGNORE ERRORS AND FOCUS ON WHAT IS DONE WELL IN SKILLED PERFORMANCES
Buzas, H. P., & Ayllon, T. (1981). Differential reinforcement in coaching tennis skills. Behavior Modification, 5, 372-385.
The effects of correcting errors in a typical tennis class to selectively ignoring errors while praising appropriate tennis performance were determined. This constitutes the differential reinforcement of correct behaviors. A multiple-baseline design, using three junior high school students as Ss and the skills of forehand, backhand, and serve, was employed.
Positive differential reinforcement increased performance two to four times over baseline rates. This complements previous research results that demonstrated emphasizing the positive aspects of performance, as opposed to concentrating on errors or error correction, produces greater and faster performance gains. This is a good principle for effective coaching.
Implication. Providing positive consequences for the good aspects of skilled performances, as opposed to concentrating on error correction, has a marked and greater impact on performance improvement.
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