THE GREATEST SUCCESS OF A TEACHER?
“The children are now working as if I did not exist”
Observing many youth football matches over the past few months has left me pondering the role of the coach on a match day & whether coach behaviours are reflective of a culture which values a ‘learning space’ for our young players or one that is reflective of a culture that still values performance and results over all else.
Another factor at play here are societal expectations on how a coach should behave. Traditionally, a coach is seen as the driver of the experience. The guy with the whistle, clipboard and coaches cap, imparting their undoubted superior knowledge on their athletes. A more passive figure on the sideline, communicating very little and simply observing may be perceived by parents or spectators as lacking interest and ‘not teaching much.’
Experience is the greatest teacher of the young. If we don’t allow our young learners to make their own decisions and be able to fail (even if we could have prevented it), then what chance do we have of creating independent learners capable of adapting to the vast array of possibilities the complexity of sports will throw at them.
Whenever I go to open my mouth during a match I now ask myself the question;
“Is what I am about to say going to add any value to the players learning?”
9 times out of 10, I keep my undoubted pearls of wisdom to myself!
Next time you’re with your learners, try being silent and observe. If you’re the talking type and the temptation arises, count to 10 (silently perhaps!), remind yourself you’re creating independent learners and reassess if you really need to say anything at all. Please share your experience? What did you observe?