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South Australian Sports Institute
Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Finland
Sports Coaching Protocols Users

South Australian Sports Institute

Mediational Learning (Old Way/New Way®) for accelerated skill correction: A new paradigm and technique for elite sport.

K. Baker1 & G. Tan2. 1South Australian Sports Institute, Australia. 2The University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Paper presented at the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2001: A Sports Medicine Odyssey. Challenges, Controversies and Change, 23-27 October 2001, Burswood International Resort Casino, Perth, Western Australia.


Mediational Learning has been applied by the psychologists at the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) with a variety of different athletes. These athletes include the following:

  • baseball players (pitching technique)
  • basketball players (shooting technique - 3 point line, and jump shots)
  • divers (hurdle technique on spring board, take-off technique on platform, and body posture)
  • rowers (catch position)
  • soccer players (kicking technique)
  • volleyball players (hitting and serving technique, as well as team concepts and beliefs).

Read more about how SASI is using Old Way/New Way to improve elite sports performance.

Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Finland

Professor Yuri Hanin from the Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Jyväskylä, (Finland) relates his experiences with the application of Sports Coaching Protocols™ (Old Way/New Way®) in his work with elite Finnish Olympic athletes and coaches.

Some of this ground breaking work with coaches and their athletes was published in The Sport Psychologist, 2002, 16, 1, 79-99. This published coaching science project won second prize in the 4th EAA [Coaching] Science Awards, out of a record entry of 28 projects from 13 European countries.

"I heard about the system two years ago when I was in Australia as an invited visiting international scholar. The idea of rapid correction of technique was very appealing since my practical work with athletes and coaches focuses on performance enhancement, optimal performance states, and preparation for important international competitions.

Persistent errors in technique, especially under competitive stress, are very common among elite athletes and are perhaps among the major factors that can cause underperformance. Moreover, the major problem with a conventional approach to error correction is that it takes a long time and the change is often not permanent.

Therefore, I started over a year ago by taking the Personal Best Academy online sports coaching skills course conducted by Dr Paul Baxter who uses and teaches Old Way/New Way® in Brisbane, Australia.

As part of this practical course, Paul and I communicated via email on specific performance enhancement problems I wanted to work on. I've been using Old Way/New Way® for rapid correction of consistent errors in technique with track and field athletes (javelin, hammer throwing and sprinting), with a pro-tour female golfer, and also with a soccer team. All nine interventions were very successful. At the same time, we collaborated with Paul to advance our research into skill development and correction with elite athletes and still do.

There are several benefits that I have experienced using Old Way/New Way. It is very practical; the technical problem is solved quickly and completely in just one single session; the results are immediate, there is no adaptation period as with conventional skill development and correction.

Moreover, the observed technique improvement is permanent and extends into psychological benefits such as feelings of empowerment, enhanced self-confidence, satisfaction with the elimination of errors, better understanding, higher motivation and a desire to engage in more high quality training of this kind. A single learning trial lasting from one to two hours, including an half hour warm up, usually results in 80% or better improvement in performance. The new way (corrected skill) is consistently performed and spontaneous recovery of errors, if any, is easily handled. Skill improvement also directly transfers to competitive performance, as shown in our case studies. Under conventional skill correction methods, technique difficulties still resisted correction after months and, in some cases, years of effort. Without Old Way/New Way, as one coach said, it would have required up to 2000 repetitions or four years of practicing the correct starting technique before the performance would have improved.

I think Old Way/New Way® greatly extends the sport psychologist's potential area of applied work with athletes and coaches. Up till now applied sports psychologists worked almost exclusively in the domain of mental skills training as a means to performance enhancement. Now they can work in both domains.

Perhaps, the greatest benefit for me professionally is that I can see how I can extend my own work - the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) model. For instance, from a general focus on optimal (or dysfunctional) emotional subjective experiences I have moved further to kinaesthetic awareness and now can appreciate more the role of individually relevant technique. Thus to enhance performance I can focus not only on optimal emotional states but on optimal technique which, if not developed, can be a serious barrier to performance improvement.

Finally, Old Way/New Way® is based on a sound theoretical and methodological framework. It has been empirically validated in non-sports settings (educational). The underpinning theory offers a high degree of predictability of performance errors and their likely resolution. The 4-step correction procedure itself is well structured and provides an opportunity for a well-planned intervention with a very clear focus. But what's more, the whole thing is a real cooperative effort between the athlete, the coach and the sport psychologist and this is a mutually beneficial experience usually resulting in the development of high quality working (partnership) relationships.

The program can be used solely or in conjunction with another. For instance, I incorporated it into my own IZOF model as skill correction with movement patterns was missing from my applied perspective.

Finally, team consulting with Paul via Internet in working with athletes and coaches was professionally and personally an outstanding and exceptionally enriching experience. Thanks Paul!"

Sports Coaching Protocol Users

Baseball coaching

All About Pitching (USA)
New South Wales Baseball League Inc (Australia)

Basketball coaching

Dribble Pass Shoot (USA)
Lonestar Basketball Academy (USA)

Bodybuilding coaching

Elouera Gym (Australia)

Cricket coaching

Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy (Australia)

Football coaching

Fremantle Football Club (Australia)
Paul Perrone Kicking, Colgate University (USA)

Golf swing improvement

Asian Canadian Golf Academy (Canada)
Box Hill Golf Club (Australia)
Australian Golf Teachers Federation (Australia)
David Milne Golf Academy (Australia)
Golf Queensland (Australia)
Golf Your Way (Australia)
JK Golf Gmbh (Germany)
Midland Golf (Australia)
PGA Australia Ltd (Australia)
Range Riders (Canada)
Regency Park Golf Course (Australia)
Swedish Golf Team (Sweden)
The Farm Golf (USA)
Transformational Golf (Australia)

Gymnastics coaching

Miller's Gymnastic Schools (Australia)

Lawn bowls coaching

Auckland Women's Bowling Club (New Zealand)
Bedford Bowling Club (Australia)
Blackburn Bowls Club (Australia)
Bowls Saskatchewan Inc. (Canada)
Broadwater Bowling Club (Australia)
Geelong Bowls Club (Australia)
Gold Coast-Tweed District Bowls Association
Lakes Krakajack (Australia)
Manly Lawn Bowling Club (Australia)
Middleton Beach Bowling Club (Australia)
NSW Bowls Coach (Australia)
Penygraig and Williamstown Junior Bowls Club (UK)
Royal NSW Bowling Association (Australia)
Turramurra Bowling Club (Australia)
USLBA Instruction Chair (USA)
Windsor Bowls Club (Australia))
Yandina Bowls Club (Australia)

Motor sport

Team Dynamik (Australia)

Rowing coaching

Cairns School Rowing Association (Australia)
Japan Amateur Rowing Association (Japan)
Murwillumbah Rowing Club (Australia)
Roeivereniging De Where (Holland)
Rowing South Australia (Australia)
Rowing World Australia (Australia) (USA)
St Catherines Rowing Club (Canada)
Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club (New Zealand)
U.S. Rowing Association (USA)
Willem II Rowing Club (Holland)

Running coaching

Flyers Track Club Inc. (USA)

Shooting coaching

Army Marksmanship Unit (USA)

Skiing instruction

Alf Engen Ski School (USA)

Softball coaching

Queensland Softball Association (Australia)
Texas Peppers Gold (USA)

Sports coaching, all sports

ACT Academy of Sport (Australia)
Activate Sports (Australia)
ACU National, School of Exercise Science (Vic) (Australia)
ANZ Bank (Australia)
Australian Institute of Sport (Australia)
Coaching Works Ltd (New Zealand)
Curtin University (Australia) Fourth Presbyterian Church (USA)
HS Williams Ent. Inc. (USA)
John Spence Community High School (UK)
Kalang Investments (Australia)
Lebanon Fire District (USA)
Literacy Link - Leamos (USA)
Massey University (New Zealand)
Maximum Potential UK Ltd (UK)
MJ Productions Ltd (UK)
New Zealand Academy of Sport, North (New Zealand)
Newington College (Australia)
Queensland Academy of Sport (Australia)
Redfrog Solutions P/L (Australia)
Research Institute for Olympic Sports (Finland)
School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, UWA (Australia)
Sports Assist P/L (Australia)
Towson University (USA)
University of Puget Sound Athletics (USA)
University of Southern Queensland (Australia)
Unleashing Speed Potential (Australia)
Victoria University of Technology Library (Australia)
Workplace Wellness Consulting (Canada)
Zen Team (USA)

Surfing coaching (Australia)

Swimming coaching

Akudae Pty Ltd (Australia)
Darwin Swimming Club (Australia)
Finnish Swimming Assocn, The (Finland)

Tennis coaching

Hince Tennis (Australia)
Hong Kong Tennis Association (Hong Kong)
Smash Tennis and Sports Academy (Belgium)

Tenpin bowling coaching

Rosebud Tenpin Bowl (Australia)
Tenpin Bowling Association of Queensland (Australia)

Volleyball coaching

Australian Sitting Volleyball Team (Australia)


The organisations listed on this page received training in Old Way/New Way® Learning Systems. This does not imply that these organisations endorse Old Way/New Way® Learning Systems or that they endorse Personal Best Academy or SimTrain International. Neither does it mean that Personal Best Academy/SimTrain International endorses these listed organisations. Customers who have indicated that they do not wish to be listed here do not appear here.

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