Coach the Game, Not the player
Have you heard of ‘Let the game be the teacher’?
Now we add ‘Coach the game, not the player’GAME PLAY LEARN
In the serious business of coaching, we can sometimes forget that our ultimate responsibility as facilitators, is to ensure that our players, above all, enjoy the game. When you see kids playing on the street or in the playground, are they setting up cones and drill practices? No, they are playing some kind of game. This gives us a clue on player motivation and enjoyment.
How better to enjoy the game than by playing it?!
As coaches we can get caught up with detail and trying to improve our players by breaking down the game into single skills and isolated segments. Let’s be sure to remember to ‘let the game be the teacher’.
How better to learn the game than by playing it?!
If we want to manipulate or modify the game, we must do so only according to the context and players needs, but we must also ensure that we uphold the game’s integrity.
How better to coach the player, than by coaching the game?!
For example, if we take away the opposition/defenders, is it still upholding the game’s principles of attack? Isn’t having opponents trying to win the ball and prevent you from scoring, a vital piece of information to shape our team’s actions when we have the ball?
What if we play a game without direction? Is it still upholding the game’s principle of penetration and delay? Isn’t that a vital piece of information that will determine what our team needs to do with the ball?
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE INCLUDE IN OUR GAME DESIGN TO UPHOLD IT’S INTEGRITY?
Yes, there are games without defenders, direction and the other, and they certainly serve certain purposes…
The point is, as learning designers, we need to be very aware and careful of why we are adding to or taking away anything from the game, it’s principles and its integrity.