Young, B. W., & Starkes, J. L. (2006). Coaches’ perceptions of non-regulated training behaviors in competitive swimmers. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 1, 53-68.

"Athletes who fail to self-regulate are less disciplined and motivated, show less initiative, and fail to maximize opportunities for acquisition during training. This investigation attempted to identify a short list of behaviors that swim coaches recognized as indicators of non-regulation by their swimmers during training. In Study 1, five coaches described the behavior of swimmers in various contexts during interviews. Qualitative analysis of interviews resulted in two lists of 28 activities that characterized self-regulation and non-regulation, respectively. In Study 2, two different samples of coaches (n=18; n=16) rated the items identified in Study 1 for how well they represented self-regulated and non-regulated training behaviors among swimmers. Based on inclusion criteria, two lists of 28 items were shortened to one list of seven non-regulated training habits, including: poor attendance; off-task in warm-up; incomplete volume in warm-up; incomplete volume for the entire workout; inaccurate recall of pace times; last to arrive on deck; and lack of focus during kick sets. The authors discuss the relevance of an observational checklist for helping coaches identify athletes in need of remedial self-regulatory strategies, as well as how measures for these items may be employed in intervention research".

The behaviors that indicate a lack of self-regulated behaviors in swimmers are as follows:

Implication. It has long been established that athletes need to "grow" in their sport to become independent decision-makers, that is, they largely become independent of the coach. With that development, self-regulation increases. Coaches often should provide opportunities for the development of self-regulated behaviors by allowing athletes to make decisions and be responsible for their own training and competitive behaviors.

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