Coaching Matters: Around the web January 2015

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Welcome to the January 2015 edition of Coaching Matters, a round up of the articles I have found interesting in the month relating to coaching, sport science, physical preparation and skill acquisition.

This month I have been reading quite a few academic papers on topical issues in coaching such as Game Centred Approaches, the use of technology/monitoring and dynamic systems theory.

The process has been fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. There are a great deal of useful and informative papers that can and should help shape excellent coaching practice but too often they are inaccessible to the majority of coaches.

Not only are these papers behind paywalls of Academic Publishers websites but they are also written and presented in such a way as to be unreadable for anyone other than fellow academics. For example:

The importance of ‘action fidelity’ in training is that of providing the state-space with a context specific task-space to compress into

This leads to the problem of the “Chinese Whispers” effect of information dissemination. The message from the research is often corrupted as it passes down the chain from National Governing Body Coaching Panel to Coach Educators and then on to Coaches. As noted in this paper on Game Sense the result is wildly different interpretations leading to quotes such as this:

They (Coach Educators) keep banging on about Games Sense, but then when another tutor takes over he changes his message! If they are going to teach us what to do then they need to have a common message. I think Game Sense, as I understand it, is just good coaching . . . making them [the players] think and taking responsibility for their own actions. I don’t know if that’s GameSense, but I always coach that way. (Coach 3, interview)

We’re delivering Game Sense … aren’t we? Reid & Harvey 2014

Thankfully many researchers are aware of this problem and it is great to see so many doing something about it. Many have started blogs which translate their or others research into plain English. I am collating a list of these blogs which I will put in a separate post soon and I will update it as I find more. Below are some good examples but if you are an Academic with a blog such as this or know of any good ones please let me know. Alternatively if you are an Academic without a blog but would like me to host an article I would love to hear from you simon@undergroundathletics.co.uk

The whole point of this blog is sharing and interaction so if you have written or know of similar content that would be good for future posts then please let me know via Twitter @SiNainby.

As usual though the articles are divided by General Coaching, Skill Acquisition, Physical Preparation & Sport Science. Don’t forget to check out all the previous Coaching Matters blogs, my Notes From blogs of various lectures/CPD I have attended and various random thoughts on coaching.

Top 10

General Coaching

Skill Acquisition

Physical Preparation

Sport Science

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