We evaluated verbal instruction and shaping using TAG (teaching with acoustical guidance) to improve tackling by 3 high school football players. Verbal instruction and shaping improved tackling for all 3 participants. In addition, performance was maintained as participants moved more quickly through the tackling procedure. Key words: athletic performance, football, coaching, instructions, shaping Football is an aggressive sport and can result in serious injury. From 1984 through 1999, 63 injuries resulted in permanent disability among high school football players (Mueller, 2001); likewise,more than 1million people in theUnited States visited the emergency room for football-related injuries between 2001 and 2005 (Mello, Myers, Christian, Palmisciano, & Linakis, 2009). Many of these injuries may have been a result of poor or unsafe tackling. Stokes, Luiselli, and Reed (2010) evaluated differential reinforcement to improve tackling. During the intervention, the coach withheld negative comments and provided differential reinforcement when the athletes completed all 10 steps of a tackling task analysis. Results showed an increase in performance for two athletes. In addition, improved performance carried over to game play. Stokes, Luiselli, Reed, and Fleming (2010) implemented teaching with acoustical guidance (TAG) and descriptive feedback with and without video feedback to improve offensive line-pass blocking. TAG provided immediate feedback in the form of an auditory stimulus to shape successive approximations of the terminal behavior. Video feedback and TAG were effective in improving offensive line-pass blocking. Although previous studies have examined differential reinforcement to improve tackling (Stokes, Luiselli, & Reed, 2010) and TAG to improve line-pass blocking (Stokes, Luiselli, Reed, & Fleming, 2010), no research has evaluated TAG to improve tackling. The purpose of the present study was to use TAG paired with verbal instruction to improve tackling by high school football players. The application of verbal instruc-tion and TAG to shape tackling formmay improve safety and make football players more effective

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