Characteristics of Coach Talk


Lisa Davies

Date of Graduation

Spring 2001


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


The purposes of this study was to develop a methodology for describing the speech and language characteristics of youth girls' basketball coaches and provide some preliminary data regarding these characteristics. Subjects included five area youth basketball coaches who coach girls between the ages of 9 and 11. All coaches were videotaped and audiotaped during two practice sessions. Speech and language characteristics of the coaches were analyzed. Specifically, utterance length, speech rate, pause usage, communicative repetitions, mazes, grammatical structures, non-literal language, verb usage, and communicative functions were assessed. Findings of the study indicated that youth basketball coaches generally use facilitative language. However, non-facilitative language use was present. This included extensive use of jargon and ambiguous terms, decreased use of praise/encouragement utterances, and few defining utterance. It was determined that the method utilized for analyzing coach talk was sufficient.

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Lisa Davies