Coach Talk: Linguistic Demands Inherent in Youth Sports Purpose This investigation expands the notion of academic language to extracurricular activities and provides preliminary data regarding linguistic expectations that are placed on students who are participating in youth sports. Method Five coaches of young girls' basketball teams (2 competitive; 3 recreational) were observed during practice sessions divided ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2006
Coach Talk: Linguistic Demands Inherent in Youth Sports
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julie J. Masterson
    Missouri State University, Springfield
  • Lisa K. Davies
    Lee Summit School District, Kansas City, MO
  • Gerald L. Masterson
    Missouri State University, Springfield
  • Contact author: Julie J. Masterson, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Missouri State University, 901 South National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65897. Email: JulieMasterson@MissouriState.edu
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2006
Coach Talk: Linguistic Demands Inherent in Youth Sports
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2006, Vol. 37, 39-49. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/005)
History: Received February 17, 2004 , Revised September 29, 2004 , Accepted January 6, 2005
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2006, Vol. 37, 39-49. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/005)
History: Received February 17, 2004; Revised September 29, 2004; Accepted January 6, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose This investigation expands the notion of academic language to extracurricular activities and provides preliminary data regarding linguistic expectations that are placed on students who are participating in youth sports.

Method Five coaches of young girls' basketball teams (2 competitive; 3 recreational) were observed during practice sessions divided into individual versus group and stationary versus active contexts. Communication was characterized with various measures of content, form, and use.

Results Coaches rarely used pauses or communicative repetitions. Recreational coaches' utterances contained more mazes than competitive coaches' utterances. Utterances used during stationary activities tended to be longer and contain more than one verb compared to utterances used during active activities; sentence fragments were more frequent during active contexts. All coaches used jargon quite frequently.

Clinical Implications The system reported here can be used to document linguistic demands in other extracurricular activities, such as music programs and scouting. Speech-language pathologists might include clinical activities to help students deal successfully with the linguistic requirements that are inherent in sporting activities.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This manuscript is based on a thesis that was conducted by the second author under the direction of the first and third authors. Partial funding was provided by The Graduate College, Southwest Missouri State University. We thank Dr. Chuck Williams for his input regarding the study, Lindsey Wallace for reliability scoring, and the coaches and players who allowed their practices to be observed. A portion of the data provided in this paper was presented as part of a student poster session at the 2001 convention of the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
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