Having read the article ‘When did you last change your mind?’ http://scottberkun.com/2014/when-did-you-last-change-your-mind/, it has allowed me to generate thinking into how my coaching philosophy approach has changed since I first started coaching and how relevant theory has allowed me to have different views on coaching styles.
The most significant change to my own coaching style is I am now focusing on a more ‘games-based approach’ concept rather than a ‘blocked practice’ philosophy. Reflecting back on my coaching when I first started I found myself coaching firmly out of a text book or finding a session online and expecting it to work with the participants I have got. I also found myself performing the same sessions week in week out and I always made the players form a queue for each activity we were going to do. Being at university, meeting different people with different ideas and viewing relevant theory has allowed me to generate a broader understanding of coaching which has allowed me to ‘change my mind’ on my own coaching method. I have now changed and applied more emphasis on a games based approach to coaching that incorporates the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) principle. ‘Teaching games for understanding (TGfU) is understood as problem-based approach to games teaching where the play of a game is taught to situated skill development’ (Hopper and Kruisselbrink, 2002) which is what I have tried to focus my coaching session more on. This way, it will allow the participants who I am coaching to think for themselves more often rather than me telling them what to do and what position they should be in.
Focusing on a games based approach makes the session more realistic to an actual game and the participants will learn more thinking for themselves instead of just being told what to do by myself as the coach. Basing the session around games based approaches and implementing a random practice mentality with contextual interference is a great way to see benefits as ‘several motor skills are being learned during the same practice session’ (Hall, Domingues, and Cavazos, 1994). I as the coach changed my mind on the mentality of my coaching sessions as I felt that I wasn’t challenging my players enough for them to improve. I get great satisfaction seeing my work pay off to other people and them seeing success because of this and I knew that I needed to change the focus of my coaching to see my players become successful.
Having coached this changed way for the past 2-3 months I have seen a significant improvement in my players. Not only are they more willing to learn but they have the understanding of how the sport of football works and want to think for themselves more often. If placed in a tough situation they are more than confident to work out the outcome to be successful and I feel this is allowing them to get the best possible experience from the sport, rather then carrying out the same sessions each week like I started off doing.
Hopper, T. and Kruisselbrink, D. (2002) ‘Teaching Games for Understanding: What does it look like and how does it influence student skill learning and game performance?’, Teaching Games for Understanding: What does it look like and how does it influence student skill learning and game performance?, .
HALL, K.G., DOMINGUES, D.A. and CAVAZOS, R. (1994) ‘CONTEXTUAL INTERFERENCE EFFECTS WITH SKILLED BASEBALL PLAYERS’, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78(3), pp. 835–841.