A study of the problem solving by expert and beginning basketball coaches during competition
Mason, Ilse Sannen
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated the problem solving of high school basketball coaches during competition and, in particular, examined and compared the problem representation and problem solutions phases of the problem solving process of expert and novice coaches. Four expert coaches and four beginning coaches were asked to think-aloud while observing game footage. In task one, the coaches observed 4 segments from a collegiate game, while in task two they observed segments from their own team’s game. Analysis of the verbal data revealed that during the problem representation phase, both expert and beginning coaches used five ‘building blocks’ to represent the problems: (a) descriptions, (b) analytics, (c) connections, (d) solution-oriented statements, and (e) anticipation, prediction, and speculation statements. However, differences among experts and beginners regarding the use of these blocks and the subcategories within each block were found. Expert coaches utilized more connections with event or experiences beyond the game, verbalized intent statements and uttered more specific references to the score and time throughout the game. The nuances in the use of the building blocks extended itself into the solution phase of their problem solving. Expert coaches were more likely to modify or abandon their strategic game plan under continuous accumulating circumstances; the experts continually focused their solutions on a bigger picture beyond the particular game; and the expert coaches applied a forward-working approach towards the problems their team encountered.