Theories of learning:
1) Operant conditioning
2) Cognitive theory/insight
3) learning
Which one is most suitable?
Observational learning
By the end of the lesson you
should know:
• What Operant conditioning is
• What Positive and negative reinforcement
is in a sports context
• What punishment is in a sports context
Operant Conditioning
• Operant = operating; producing effects.
• Operant Conditioning =
A process of behaviour modification in which the
likelihood of a specific behaviour is increased or
decreased through positive or negative reinforcement
each time the behaviour is exhibited, so that the subject
comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the
reinforcement with the behaviour.
• Think of some examples in your day to day life when this
• Pleases and thankyous!
• Dogs pooing! – You weeing/pooing!
• Being told off at school – compare you to
yr.7’s – operant conditioning is different.
Trying to shape behaviour , by either a
reward or punishment.
Sporting Examples
• A cricket batsman will attempt to play a
certain type of shot each time the bowler
pitches the ball in a certain area.
• A netball centre will pass the ball to a
specific teammate depending on the
agreed call being made
Can you now think of your own sporting
Stimulus – Response (S-R) Bond
• The individual creates an S-R bond dependant on the success s/he
is having.
• The Stimulus provided from a coach can be 1 of three things in
order to get the response right and strengthen the bond.
3 types of Stimulus:
• Positive reinforcement – Use of a stimulus to create feelings of
satisfaction to encourage the repetition of the action
• Negative reinforcement – When the stimulus is withdrawn when the
desired response occurs
• Punishment – Giving a stimulus to prevent a response reoccurring
(Coach Carter) – weakens response.
• Using the book try to think of different examples of the 3 types of
stimulus that a coach would use to reinforce the correct response.
Throwing a ball in a bin
1) Provide positive reinforcement
2) Provide negative reinforcement
3) Provide punishment!!!!
Exam questions
(c) Explain how a coach could use operant conditioning to
strengthen the stimulus–response bond. (5 marks)
• (a) Explain the terms negative reinforcement and
punishment, giving examples of each from a team game.
(4 marks)
• (b) Using examples, explain how a coach could use
positive reinforcement to improve the performance of his
players. (2 marks)
• (c) Reinforcement is a feature of operant conditioning.
What else does the coach need to consider for operant
conditioning to be effective? (3 marks) -

Theories of learning: 1) Operant conditioning 2