Coach Development: Decision Making
May 12, 2011 7 Comments
When I stepped in to the world of football coaching around a year ago I remember one of the pieces advice I heard was regarding the importance of decision making in a child’s development and it’s something which I keep at the forefront of my conscience when delivering training sessions to the U7s I work with.
What also makes this interest for me, and perhaps why it stays with me, is because I work for an education company. I don’t work directly in educational establishments but my line of work does give me exposure to some of the topics being discussed within the education sector and quite often you hear stuff which takes you back to your football coaching.
Today was a good example of that. I happened to stumble upon a blog which is written by a primary school in the UK. The school were blogging about a new piece of hardware and in what was presumably a message to parents they wrote the following…
we have always believe that the children have the choice. Whatever we are doing in class, we provide the children with the task and give them options to complete it. This philosophy allows children to push themselves by trying to use new tools or equipment. As an example let us look at an art session. The children are given the choice to colour in a piece of blank paper. In a class of 30, 12 of them choose felt tips, 9 choose colour pencils, 5 choose wax crayons and the final 4 decide to use paint.
What has this got to do with technology? At [the school] we believe the same applies to ICT. As a school we provide Windows, Apple and Linux technology for the children to use. Teaching the children about the range of platforms available, and giving them experience of them is key to providing the children with the skills they need in the 21st century. These are not just ICT skills but it also allows them to make choices of the consumers of tomorrow.
I find it incredibly interesting thinking about decision making within the context of football because even in a small sided game, we’re asking kids of all ages to makes tens or hundreds of decisions on a frequent basis and that’s even without the instructions we (or tens of parents) could be providing them with.
I think from what I’ve seen in my short time coaching is that some coaches are acutely away of the need to allow young footballers to make their own decisions and come up with their own solutions but others aren’t and this should perhaps be an area that requires more focus.
What also strikes me is how much we as football coaches could learn from the education industry, they’re essentially the same thing. Do other coaches read up on teaching techniques and theories or is this a relatively untapped area from within football circles?