Coaching Games: Comparisons and Contrasts

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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A key feature of any coach’s role is to decide on the most appropriate approach to develop player learning and performance at any given time. When coaching games, these decisions are even more challenging due to the interactive nature of games themselves and, in team games, this interactivity is heightened. Therefore, proponents of various approaches to coaching games could do well to demonstrate how different approaches may compliment rather than oppose each other, to avoid a one-size-fits-all process of coaching. In this insights paper, we summarise some of the fundamental approaches used for coaching games, whilst clarifying and contrasting their theoretical and practical differences. In doing so, we propose that there is a space in the coach’s toolbox for a games approach that hones the metacognitive skills of players. We also suggest reasons why coaches might use metacognitive game design as a tool to develop players’ deep understanding of game play to support player learning and performance.

Amy Price is with the School of Education, Theology & Leadership, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, United Kingdom. Dave Collins and John Stoszkowski are with the Institute of Coaching and Performance, School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom. Shane Pill is with the School of Education, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Amy Price at Amy.Price@TheFA.com.
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