UKC Instructors Incorporate TAGteachᴿ in Karate Tigers Classes

August 2016

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TAGteachᴿ, also known in behavioral science as “auditory marker training”, is a very effective way of teaching sports that uses a sharp click sound, called a “tag”, to mark a correct response from an athlete. When necessary, the sound is paired with verbal praise or other things that are demonstrated to be positive reinforcers for a targeted skill element, but often the sound of the tag itself is motivating enough.

The tag sound takes on the properties of reinforcement but with some advantages over praise. The sound is less distracting than praise, as it does not interrupt the flow of movement or invite a social response. It is also much briefer, so it precisely marks an athlete’s proprioceptive feeling in the split second that his or her body is in correct position. Proprioception, the sixth sense, is a person’s feeling of body movement and orientation in space. Athletes experience the tag like the click of a camera that captures a feeling, rather than an image, of a moment in time. In this way, tagging is more like biofeedback than praise.

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In addition to the tag sound, the method uses a very specific way of prompting correct physical movements designed to be maximally efficient so fast learning can occur.

TAGteachᴿ has been used in many countries and with all ages and ability levels, including world class and professional athletes. It is used to teach gymnastics, golfing, rock climbing, parkour, ballet, soccer, tennis many other activities. Athletes report that tagging is fun and helps to keep them focused during practice.

Sensei Laraine Winston, a Behavioral Sports and Health Consultant and Certified TAG Teacher is currently collaborating with Sensei Sheila Apicella and Sensei Steven Apicella to use this cutting edge strategy in their Karate Tigers classes. More information on TAGteachᴿ can be found at!

© 2016 Sensei Laraine Winston MS, LMHC, BCBA. 2010 Black Belt World Champion

Executive Director and Lead Practitioner Life Targets, LLC