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ACT Golf: A Preliminary Investigation into Effects on Sport Performance with Acceptance and Commitment Training Consistent Instructions.
AdvisorHayes, Steven C
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Sport is an important area of human life dominated by rule governed skilled performances. Implications of Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) in human sport performance suggest that status quo methods of training skilled tasks may be counterproductive. Previous behavioral research has not tested this implication directly nor compared status quo Control type instructions to ACT informed Functional Awareness instructions. Additional implications of behavioral variation as a moderator to long term performance suggest novel measurement and analysis of a skilled performance task such as golf putting. In a multiple baseline across participants experiment, participants completed half of their assigned putt attempts from a fixed distance before reading one of two instructional interventions and then completing their remaining assigned putts. Putt outcomes were categorized as hit or one of 8 miss types based on combinations of relative speed and hole alignment. Overall accuracy and putting outcome variation were analyzed for intervention effects both within subjects and across intervention groups. Results suggest both interventions had no effect on accuracy or variability of putting behavior. Implications of the lack of an effect by popular status quo putting instructions, the novel preparation, variability analysis, as well as study strengths and limitations discussed in light of the data.