Coaxing An Empirical Exploration of a Novel Way to Nudge Athletic Performance in Sports

Dees Postma*, Sander ten Brinke, Robby van Delden, Dennis Reidsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents design work and empirical work, exploring a novel way of steering player behaviour and performance in sports, called ‘coaxing’. We propose that athletic performance might be influenced by tricking players into thinking that their athletic abilities are different from what they really are. We approach this proposition from three different angles. First, we use related work to theoretically ground the concept of coaxing in literature. Second, we take a research-through-design approach to illustrate the potential of coaxing for sports practice, specifically volleyball. Third, we carried out an experimental study to shed light on the effectiveness of coaxing, also in the context of volleyball. For the experimental study, we explored the idea of coaxing by means of an augmented ball-catching task. For every participant, we quantified their ability to intercept fly balls and presented them with visualisations that either overstated or understated this ability; in the expectation that this would impact how they acted in the ball-catching task. While the effects of coaxing failed to reach significance, data suggest that coaxing might yet be a viable form of steering player behaviour. Contrary to our hypothesis, participants whose abilities had been understated mostly outperformed their counterparts. We discuss the particularities of the current findings and their implications for sports practice. We conclude with practical and theoretical recommendations to further develop the concept of coaxing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersuasive Technology - 17th International Conference, PERSUASIVE 2022, Proceedings
EditorsNilufar Baghaei, Julita Vassileva, Raian Ali, Kiemute Oyibo
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030984373
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2022
Event17th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, PERSUASIVE 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 29 Mar 202231 Mar 2022
Conference number: 17

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13213 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference17th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, PERSUASIVE 2022
Abbreviated titlePERSUASIVE 2022
CityVirtual, Online


  • Augmentation
  • Coaxing
  • Nudging
  • Perceptual-motor training
  • Sports
  • Sports interaction technology
  • Steering behaviour
  • Volleyball
  • 22/3 OA procedure


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