The development of a context-specific biofeedback protocol: An application to ice hockey officials

Kim Dorsch, University of Regina, Canada

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: LEC-08B

Presentation: October 3, 2013 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room: Magnolia


The benefits and potential of biofeedback training for enhancing athletic performance has received noticeable consideration in both research and practice. While almost all biofeedback research applied to sport participants has focused on athletes, one group of participants has been neglected in both research and training. This group is the sports official. Ice hockey officials, including referees and linesmen, are required to possess various physical, cognitive, and psychological skills suggesting that biofeedback training to enhance their on-ice performance holds strong utility. Since biofeedback research applied to sport offers very little perspective into the needs and requirements of biofeedback protocols applied to officials of sport, the purpose of this research project is to develop the first context-specific biofeedback training screens applied to ice hockey officiating. Working in conjunction with and obtaining approval from the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA), participating referees and linesmen were outfitted with a Contour 1080p© helmet camera to capture the various on-ice experiences on a game-to-game basis. A focus group was held with SHA official representatives (i.e., official supervisors, mentors) to gain a better understanding as to the various skills, abilities, physical, and cognitive requirements that are necessary to the official while on the ice. The results of the focus group provided the necessary information as to those video segments that were used for the biofeedback training screens. Once the video segments were identified, confirmed, and validated by contextual experts, they were incorporated and configured into existing and pre-formatted biofeedback training screens using the Screen and Script Editor software offered by Thought Technology©. The implications of the research project include both educational and training, acknowledging the contextual specificity of the biofeedback training protocols.

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