Effects of self-recording on attendance and performance in a competitive swimming training environment

J Appl Behav Anal. 1974 Summer;7(2):199-206. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1974.7-199.


Swimmers' attendance at training and work rates were described by their coaches as being poor and irregular. Reinforcement contingencies were developed to remedy these unsatisfactory conditions. Two experiments were conducted. A multiple baseline design verified the effects of publicly marking attendance at practice as a sufficient solution for reducing absenteeism, tardiness, and leaving early. Follow-up analyses showed this contingency to have lasting effects. In the second experiment, a reversal design was used to assess the effects of employing program boards as a means of increasing work output during practice. Work rates in eight selected swimmers were elevated by an average of 27.1% when the boards were instituted. Follow-up evaluations showed that the use of the program boards had lasting effects. Publicly checking the completion of each training unit of work changed the nature of the swimming environment to produce a more productive use of time. The role of the coach was subsequently changed as less time was spent in directing and supervising behaviors.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Child
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Self Concept*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Sports Medicine*
  • Swimming*
  • Time Factors