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8 Types of Feedback

For an athlete to develop, they need to assess their development and performances’, and for that to happen they need some form of feedback. This can be in two forms; INTRINSIC or EXTRINSIC.


Extrinsic Feedback

Extrinsic feedback in sport is from External information provided by Coaches, Analysts, Friends, Teammates/Peers or even Parents.


This type of feedback is the biggest area of enhancing athletes reflecting skills. It can influence the intrinsic side of the athlete if done correctly and in a neurological way. Asking questions that impact on the unconscious mind will be more powerful than the general “how did you do today?


Questions like;

     – “What was specific about your performance that you care about?”

– or –

     – “Considering what you have learned, how will you bank this information?”


The Coach

The coach can provide feedback at several points of their interaction with the athlete. These can come through one to one situations where the coach is providing information back to the athlete or information to go into the upcoming event, also known as Terminal Feedback.


While athletes develop well in breaking down of a skill, they learn best by being ‘On the job’ and receiving Concurrent feedback. This is information which would be provided to an athlete while they are performing. Coaches, Teammates/Peers and Parents will provide this information at some point and maybe not even know they have. Your body language can be a big problem if you are not aware of it fully.


It is important to consider as there will be times when you are disappointed, concerned, angry or overwhelmed with the athlete though you it’s not the right time to show it, so controlling this is important. You can do this by understanding what your body is truly saying. More information on communication skills can be found in the eBook; ‘Art of Communication’ found in our shop.


Accompanying the feedback with results have proven to be a very successful way to support the development of an athlete. This is due to athletes being provided with statistics and results showing success on several different platforms in all areas of life. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 72% of his goals from outside of the area suggesting that he is a prolific at this attribute, or, Simone Biles has achieved the highest consecutive results in Olympic history meaning she is the greatest of her generation.


These examples clearly show that the chosen athletes are successful because of X, Y and Z. Though what it may portray is that to be deemed a success, you will need to score 72.5% or more or beat an Olympic record. Though remember, Sport is an art, and suggesting that one thing is more successful then another can open a big debate. So be careful of how you use Statistics.


Knowledge of performance

Finally, the last Extrinsic form of feedback is knowledge of performance. This type of feedback relates to information about a performers technique or performance. This type of feedback can be provided visually or verbally. Being able to provide a subjective view on the performance of an athlete is important, though it must stay that way – Your View – and allow the receiver time to express THEIR views on THEIR performances.


Use technology to help you provide this feedback. Can you record an athletes’ performance and mirror it to a recognised elite athlete? Coaches with elite academies in England often provide footage to their athletes supported by information/footage of what they see from the top level.


Smart Phones or Tablets can be an easy way to record and provide feedback effectively and immediately. When considering the types of feedback, it is important to consider if the feedback is going to be Positive or Negative feedback.


Positive feedback

Positive feedback is useful for keeping athletes motivated. After an athlete has performed a skill correctly, the feedback should be given in a positive way. Focusing on what went well and how athletes can improve.


Negative Feedback

This type of feedback is extremely important for helping athletes to develop. Coaches and teachers should be aware of how they use negative feedback. Talk to athletes don’t shout or yell. It should focus on what an athlete needs to do to improve rather then to highlight the mistake.


The feedback sandwich is a term used by coaches and teachers when they look at providing negative feedback. Offer a positive piece, then a negative, followed up by another positive piece. An example would be like this; “Do you know when you played in limited touches? You were one of the most effective players on the pitch! and if you could apply those ideas into your defending… you’d be such a great player!”.


Intrinsic Feedback

We finish of by looking at the most important type of feedback an athlete can receive; Intrinsic! This type of feedback comes from the person and can be a powerful way to affect an athletes’ development. If done properly. It focuses on an athlete’s self-awareness and what they think they need to do to improve a skill. Having the right Mindset will either increase or decrease the intake of information; Positive = More, Negative = Less. The right Mindset is a very powerful tool, look out for details on how to increase your Mindset coming in October.


So, take home messages are…

  1. The best form of feedback is intrinsic feedback,
  2. Being able to see themselves is a big positive,
  3. The use of footage is a powerful tool to use,
  4. Receiving both Positive and Negative feedback is important,
20th January 2018

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