Legendary Matilda and FFA Hall of Famer, Joey Peters, provides a terrific tech tip…
“Lectures, lines and laps are not only boring, they take a lot of planning and explaining, and they actually stifle learning! Great coaches understand that learning is by experience. Learning is usually hidden in a fun and exciting experience created by the coach.”
Wander past any sports ground where a team are in training and you may see the cardinal sins of sports coaching unfolding before your eyes. You may see athletes huddled into a group with the coach waving his or her arms around and talking to the players in long-winded terms of what they need to know and what they need to do. In other words, the coach is lecturing.
You might also see ten, fifteen or even twenty players standing in a line waiting to have their turn at a skill that the coach, who is standing nearby, is trying to teach. Given all the waiting and standing in lines, if a player is lucky, they might get to have a go at the skill two or even three times! Wow! That will work wonders for their skill levels! Standing in lines not only wastes valuable time but waiting bores the living daylights out of athletes and is guaranteed to destroy their concentration.
Last, but not least, you might see a group of athletes sent off on their obligatory two or three laps of the field “warm-up” jog by their coach. Yes. Of course, athletes should warm-up before they attempt top speed execution of complex and highly physical skills… but who says that athletes can’t be experiencing aspects of their sport while warming up their muscles, connective tissue and mind?
Learn by experiencing
Joey Peters reminds coaches that athletes develop high skill levels through actively experiencing the critical skills required to perform well in their sport. Coaches should always seek to provide their athletes with exciting and fun physical experiences… and not waste their time with lectures, lines and laps!
Joey Peters, a Novocastrian by birth, played 110 games for the mighty Australian women’s national football team, the Matildas (scoring 28 goals). She played club soccer for Northern NSW Pride (Aust), Santos (Brazil), New York Power (USA) and the Newcastle Jets. She was one of Australia’s first full-time professional international football athletes. She became an FFA Hall of Famer in 2010. Since Joey retired in 2009, she has coached football continuously (including a stint as coach with the Australian Under 16 girls National Team) and provides expert commentary and analysis for various “SBS – The World Game” football broadcasts. There are few more knowledgeable and innovative football experts on the Australian football scene.
Joey shares her understanding of effective football coaching processes at her gameplaylearn.net web site. Check it out!