Application of analogy learning in softball batting: Comparing novice and intermediate players

Catherine Mamaid CAPIO, Liis UIGA, Man Hong LEE, Rich S. W. MASTERS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This field-based study developed and implemented analogy instructions for softball batting, and examined batting performance outcomes. A focus-group discussion involving a coach and a number of team captains of a collegiate-level softball team identified the typical instructions used for batting (i.e., explicit) and developed an analogy instruction that combined these rules in 1 biomechanical metaphor (i.e., swing your bat like you are breaking a tree in front of you with an axe). A total of 40 collegiate-level club players (20 novices and 20 intermediates) were assigned to either an analogy learning or an explicit learning group and took part in 6 training sessions. Batting performance was assessed using a standardized criteria-based rating scale in single-task pretest and posttest, and a dual-task test after training. The findings show that the novice, but not the intermediate players, displayed significant improvements in batting performance after training. Novices who received the analogy instruction displayed stable batting performance in the dual-task test, but novices who received explicit instructions, and intermediate players who received the analogy instruction, displayed batting performance decrements. The findings suggest that the benefits of analogy instructions are evident only in novices; learners’ previous experiences must, therefore, be carefully considered when developing coaching programs. Copyright © 2019 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology
Early online date25 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jul 2019


Focus Groups


Capio, C. M., Uiga, L., Lee, M. H., & Masters, R. S. W. (2019). Application of analogy learning in softball batting: Comparing novice and intermediate players. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10474-018-0889-5


  • Analogy learning
  • Coaching
  • Instruction
  • Softball
  • Batting