Alla inlägg under december 2008

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:38

When planning a skill practice there are a number of practical considerations for the coach.


The Training Environment

Consider the number of players you have, the amount of space available, what equipment there is, and any possible safety hazards.

Ensure that there is enough equipment for all the players to practise with. Keeping the equipment well maintained will save both time and money – there is nothing worse than arriving at training and finding all the balls are flat or a piece of essential equipment is broken.

Adapt the activities and equipment to meet the players’ developmental needs and to suit the skill practice. For example, try using less time and space for the more skilled and more time and space for the less skilled players.


Managing Time

The amount of time devoted to training is an issue when planning a skill. To reach a high level of skill ability, the player needs to perform the skill thousands, perhaps millions, of times during their sporting life.

It is important to give the players many opportunities to practise, and where possible, minimize the time that players are not on task. Establishing organisational routines for your training sessions at the beginning of the season can maximise use of time. For example, a signal for players to come in, routines for dividing into groups and for getting equipment out.

Other factors that increase time practising a skill include providing activities with high participation rates, decreasing instruction time (focus on the key factors) and decreasing the time it takes to move from one activity to another (transition).


Organising Groups and Formations

Organising the players into groups so there is maximum opportunity to practise can be a challenge when planning to teach a skill. There are a multitude of ways to organise players into groups. One of the quickest ways to organise groups is to say “get a partner” of “get into groups of four”. To organise teams, use the numbering-off system or have your teams preorganised in your session plan.

A coach should be aware of the players’ self-esteem when organising groups. For example, when players choose teams themselves it is often the same person who is chosen last. They may be a player who either has low skill level or has a behavioural problem. The coach should consider the appropriate ways to deal with these individuals so that they are included.


Training Grids

Planning activities to practise the skill that involves all players in the space and time allocated can be a challenge. The grid system has evolved as a means of achieving this.

A grid is an area of playing space that has been sub-divided using lines or cones. The number and size of each grid depends on the number of players and type of activities, and the players are divided accordingly. The principal advantage of using grids is that large groups can be organised efficiently. The coach can observe the activities from outside each grid or as they walk through and is easily able to monitor player skill acquisition, correct individual faults and acknowledge correct skill performance.

Grids can be used for a variety of different games and drills. You can have players practising the same skills in grids or you may have different skills in each grid that the players rotate around. The grid system can also be used to develop fitness, particularly if space is limited.


 Progression Of Skill

When finalising the plans about how to teach the skills or tasks of the training session, it is important to consider the steps involved for learning the skill. If the steps for learning are too large, the players can experience failure and lose their enthusiasm and motivation. If the steps are too small, the players can become bored.

For the appropriate progression of a skill coaches should be able to draw on their own knowledge and break down each skill they plan to teach into smaller components.


Practice for Competition

While basic skill training and practice is essential to skill development, it is one thing to master these skills at practice but another thing entirely to perform those same skills under the pressure of competition.

Therefore, it is important to include opportunities for the players to practise their skills in conditions that resemble as closely as possible the actual competitive situation. This can be achieved by dividing your players into teams opposing one another at practice or by arranging friendly preseason games with other teams in the club or competition.

Equal Opportunity to Practise and Improve
The more opportunities players have to practise, the more likely there will be an improvement in skill. As a coach you should endeavour to provide all players with the maximum opportunity to improve and practise their skills.

Coaches often give more time to either the higher skilled players, to ensure that their players reach their highest level of ability, or to the lower skilled players, because they need the most help. By focusing on either of these skill levels, the other players in the middle tend to be ignored.

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:32

The purpose of a demonstration is to increase the players’ understanding of the skill by providing an accurate model from which to learn. For players to make appropriate decisions on how to execute skills, coaches need to provide an explanation and a demonstration so that players can learn and practise. An effective skill demonstration requires careful planning by the coach. Consider the following questions:

Why is the skill important?Understanding the importance of the skill in the context of the sport and competition will assist both the coach and player in teaching and learning the skill.

How will the skill be demonstrated and explained?Select an appropriate method of teaching the skill taking into account the type of skill and the experience and ability of the players. Generally, it is recommended that the whole skill should be demonstrated first to show the players what the skill will look like when performed correctly, then broken down into various skill components (whole-part-whole).  Remember players need to be able to observe the demonstration at different angles. Show both left and right-handed ways to execute the skill. Make a note in your session plan of two or three teaching points and some key words or phrases to emphasise important parts of the skill.
 Keep the instructions simple and avoid the use of jargon where possible. Players should be asked to concentrate on only one or two aspects of the skill at any one time.


What equipment will be required?

Coaches need to determine what equipment will be required to give an effective demonstration and ensure that appropriate equipment is available and ready to use when the time comes.
For example if you are using a video have everything set up ready to press ‘play’ before you start the session.


Where will the skill be demonstrated?

 When planning your demonstration, take into account any possible distractions for your players such as the position of the sun or bright lights. Depending on how many players there are, decide on an appropriate formation which enables them all to see and hear the demonstration clearly. One of the most common and effective formations is a semi-circle with the coach or demonstrator standing in front.


When will the demonstration take place?

The most obvious time to give a demonstration is when the players are learning a new skill; this should take place early in the training session while the players’ minds and bodies are relatively ‘fresh’. Demonstrations can also be used when giving feedback or to remind players of a previously learned skill. It can also be useful to repeat the demonstration at the end of training so players can be reminded of what to work on.


Who will demonstrate the skill?

It is important that whoever is chosen to demonstrate can perform the skill correctly. Coaches will often demonstrate skills themselves, but they can also use players, sports persons from outside the team or even videotapes as part of the demonstration.
Choose players with a range of skills to demonstrate. Asking the star of the team to demonstrate all the time can be discouraging for the less skilled and the learners. For most players, being chosen to demonstrate is seen as a reward for good performance. Be aware, however, that some players find this embarrassing – as a coach you should respect their feelings.  

How will you know the players understood the demonstration?

 Ask specific questions after the demonstration has been given. Avoid simply asking “Did you understand?” as players tend to nod a yes response whether they think they understand or not. Ask specific points about the demonstration and get the players to ‘show you’ what they have learned. Their responses to questions and the way they perform the skill will tell you whether they understood or not. If a player has not understood the demonstration or, after a series of sessions they have not yet grasped the concept, then it is up to the coach to modify the information and/or the teaching method to assist the player’s understanding. Everybody learns differently and it is one of the coach’s roles as a teacher to find a teaching method that suits the player’s learning.

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:30

A skill may be taught in its entirety (whole learning) or broken down into parts (part learning). Most coaches combine the two methods (as whole-part-whole learning) with players learning the whole skill at times while at other times concentrating on parts of the skill.

The best method depends on the skill being taught. Generally, whole learning is best for simple skills and part learning for more complex skills.

This involves breaking a skill down into progressive part teaching. Each part is taught and practised on its own, and the parts are added in their correct sequence. Chaining is adopted when a skill is complex and needs to be taught in a particular order.


Massed or Distributed Practice

Massed practice is where the coach has players continuously practise a skill without any breaks until the skill has been learned. In a distributed practice, the players may learn the skill in short, frequent practice sessions interspersed with rests or alternative skill activities.

Distributed practice is the most effective for improving performance with younger players in particular, as the breaks between sessions reduce boredom and recharge the players’ energy and powers of concentration. Massed practice is more suitable for highly skilled or highly motivated players.


Drill or Problem-Solving

Drills involve learning through repetition while problem-solving refers to learning through investigation and discovery.
Drills are better suited for closed skills which are basically the repetition of movement patterns.
Open skills that require a degree of creativity and decision-making on possible courses of action are better suited to problem-solving.

In learning either open or closed skills, the problem-solving approach will usually lead to a better understanding and retention by the player of what is involved in the correct skill performance.


Mental or Physical Practice

Physical practice of a skill is necessary for improved skill performance and is what most players are accustomed to. Mental practice can also be used by picturing the performance in one’s mind. This can be done using mental imagery, viewing the performance (live or on video), and reading or listening to instructions.

A combination of both physical and mental practice makes for the most effective learning.

Factors that affect the ability of a player to learn new skills
• Stage of growth and development.
• Physical capacity.
• Facilities and equipment.
• Experience playing the sport.

For the player to be able to effectively develop skills the coach should use the following model as a guideline:

• 3% explanation

• 7% demonstration

• 90% practice

This informs the player what they are doing, how they will do it and why they are doing it.

Explanations should be:
• specific
• in simple language
• short and to the point

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:27

"Skill" can be defined as the learned ability to bring about a pre-determined result with maximum certainty and maximum efficiency.

“Technique” refers to the way in which a skill is performed, the successful movement of the body to achieve a specific activity.

A skilled performance does not depend simply on the physical ability of the player and their technique: it also depends on their ability to think, interpret and select. It involves the player in decision-making. Selecting a Skill

In selecting a skill to teach, coaches need to consider the following:
• What are the stages of learning and growth and development of each player?
• What skills are important for players to learn to have success performing them, to have fun and to be safe?
• What are the basic movements that underlie these skills? Classifying Motor Skills


Simple and Complex Skills

A simple skill is one that can be learned with very little practice and has few parts to it. It can be taught as a whole activity.
A complex skill takes more time and effort to acquire because a number of different movements make up the skill.


Open and Closed Skills

This refers to the predictability of the skill performance and environment. A closed skill is one where the options are few and largely constant. For example, a kick to touch from a penalty.

An open skill is one where there are a number of variables which demand the player’s attention. The environment is constantly changing and unpredictable and there is limited time to make decisions and produce the actions required of a skilled performance. For example, in passing the ball, the player must be aware of opponents and teammates as well as the act of passing the ball.
Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:23

For players to perform well at any level of sport they must acquire a number of skills. Skill learning begins with mastery of the basic skills and techniques and progresses to applying those skills in increasingly competitive situations.

It is one of the coach’s primary responsibilities to provide the player with opportunities to learn and practise skills in a positive and constructive environment. Appropriate skill learning, especially at the junior level, can set the platform for future potential elite performance.

The skill–feedback loop demonstrates how feedback is processed when learning a skill. The model shown below is a simplified version of how each player uses feedback to assess whether or not they have responded correctly and, if not, how they should respond correctly.


Skill Execution

The player performs the skill. The motor (neuro) programme tells the muscular system which muscles to contract, and how and when to contract them to produce the desired response.
The skill execution is influenced by the player’s previous learned experiences, stage of growth and development, fitness level and degree of motivation.



The player may receive two types of feedback response:

• Intrinsic (internal) feedback

• Extrinsic (external) feedback
Intrinsic feedback is dependent on the player’s ability to ‘feel’ the experience using sensory perception. If a skill was performed well, the player feels a sense of ‘correctness’. If the skill was not executed as intended, the player experiences a feeling of ‘error’.
The more experienced the player, the greater the accuracy in sensory evaluation. The ability to perceive what is correct in the early stages of learning a skill is less accurate because the player’s memory has not been developed enough to be able to have a good perception of correctness. Coaches should ask the player specific questions about how the skill felt when executed to encourage the player to become more self-aware.
Extrinsic feedback is given by an external source such as the coach, other players, or spectators.
The coach needs to be able to identify errors, provide information (feedback) appropriately and specifically, and then give instructions for the correct execution of the skill.



After receiving both intrinsic and extrinsic feedback the player must then sort the information and evaluate their performance compared to the ‘ideal model’.
Developing a player’s ability for self-awareness is important in providing a source of internal control rather than the player always depending on external sources (eg you as the coach) to evaluate the performance and tell them what to do.
Players may not have all the information about a situation so it can be difficult for them to evaluate the feedback and make the appropriate decisions. The coach can assist this process by providing clear, precise feedback that is specific to the required performance and at a level that the player can understand.
Evaluation of the performance can also be limited by the coach’s ability to give feedback and the player’s ability to receive feedback (ie communication).



If the skill execution was incorrect the player must process this information further to decide what went wrong and what they can do to correct it.
One of the major limitations to performance improvement is the ability of players to make sound and appropriate decisions. By giving players opportunities to decide for themselves how or what to do to fix their own errors or identify a correct performance, the coach enables the players to practise and improve their decision-making processes.

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:14

Passive listening or remaining silent while another person speaks is how many people "listen", often without actually hearing much.

While passive listening can be appropriate at times, it does not guarantee understanding, nor does it build a relationship or any empathy with the sender.

Active listening on the other hand involves interacting with the sender, seeking clarification to ensure you fully understand what is being said. Instead of just guessing at the meaning of a message you actively work to figure it out. Being an active listener will help you to "read between the lines"; to decipher the real (sometimes hidden) meaning of the message. Read the following tips to improve your active listening skills.

Tips To Improve Your Active Listening Skills

• Adopt a neutral and relaxed posture facing the player and leaning slightly forward.

• If appropriate look at the player when communicating with him or her. Maintaining eye contact shows that you are interested in what they have to say.

• Let the player finish speaking without interruption, even if you think you know what is going to be said.

• Show that you are following what the player is saying by nodding your head and making verbal affirmations such as "Yes ... I see ... Uh-huh" every now and then.

• Repeat what was said in your own words to ensure that both of you understand what was said.

• Ask questions if you don’t understand or if you require further clarification.

• Search for the real meaning behind what is being said rather than focusing on the details.

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 19:06

All coaches should get to know all their players as well as they can.

This essential coaching knowledge can be hard to come by when each season brings new players with different backgrounds, experiences, and motivations.

To help all your players succeed, it is imperative to learn about each one individually and then use that information as you coach them through the trials and tribulations that a rugby season brings.Once coaches accept the responsibility to learn more about their athletes they are more likely to build strong relationships with their players and, in turn, enjoy a loyal following.

They should see growth in both the self-esteem and physical skills of athletes who will also appreciate that their coach sees them as individuals and understands their personalities.

Why Cultural Awareness?

• To help you gain a better understanding of your players and their families
• To enable you to create coping strategies for yourself, your players and your team
• To help foster understanding within your team
• To gain support from your players, their families and the wider community 

Cultural Issues A Coach Should Be Aware Of

• In all cultures family has high importance and to gain the players’ support the coach should also seek the support of the whole family.

• Religion has a huge influence in many cultures and prayer may be appropriate. The use of inappropriate language should be avoided.

• Many cultures believe making direct eye contact or speaking out of turn is inappropriate, and yet looking down and not talking can be interpreted by the coach as evidence a player is inattentive and is unwilling to interact.

• Questioning and confronting players in front of the whole team can be interpreted by a player as belittling and may be better done privately.

• As a coach, your standing (mana) in the eyes of your players will be enhanced if you take time to learn a little about their culture, are able to pronounce their names correctly, and learn some basic forms of communication, such as greeting and farewell.

• Most cultures have spiritual aspects and rituals to consider. The spirit of the group and individual should be treated with respect.


  Sweden is a society made up of many cultures, and as a coach you should be aware of the cultural differences between players, such as behaviour, beliefs and social structure that belong to these cultures.

If you are unsure how to react or communicate with a player from a different culture, then ask someone for advice, otherwise a sincere honest and friendly approach will always be appreciated.

Av ricardo rodriguez - 22 december 2008 18:52

To be an effective coach you must appreciate both the art and the science of coaching.

A coach may have a great deal of sport-specific knowledge and experience (the science of coaching), however this knowledge and experience is of little value to the player unless it can be effectively communicated (the art of coaching).

Most of the coach’s time is spent trying to transfer knowledge to their players and ensuring they understand what is expected of them.

How that knowledge is transferred or communicated is an essential ingredient of successful coaching.

Effective coaching requires not only sport-specific knowledge but also sound teaching and communication skills. Both the coach and the player must be prepared to transmit and receive information from each other. Too often, coaches transmit but do not receive information.

Good communication comes not only from what you say but how you say it. Every word and gesture sends your players messages about your attitude towards them. In fact, it is impossible to not communicate, as everything we do is communication of one type or another.

Understand Three Dimensions of Communication

To begin with the basics, we have identified three dimensions of communication:

Sending - Receiving Verbal -   Non-verbal Content - Emotion 

Communication is not only about sending messages but also receiving them. Coaches should not only be able to send clear and concise messages, they also need to be astute listeners to understand what their players are communicating in return.

While most people tend to focus on communicating the verbal message, research indicates that more than 70 percent of all communication is non-verbal, such as facial expression, body language, and tone of voice. We tend to have more control over what we say than what we do.

For example, how may a coach’s body language, after a player makes a mistake, suggest annoyance or disappointment?

What effect may this have on a player?

Should a coach try to hide their body language?

The third dimension of communication is content, the factual information contained in the message, and emotion or how the sender feels about the message. Coaches can at times have difficulty containing their emotions, particularly under the pressure of intense competition.

Many coaches tend to be good at the sending, verbal and content aspects of each dimension but need to improve on the receiving, non-verbal and emotion aspects.

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