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November 08

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“The science of developing an athlete is centered in the particular technical information associated with prescribed exercises”.“The artof developing an athlete is based on the coaches ability to teach”.Brian Grasso – International Youth Conditioning Association

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Principles of Learning

  • We learn different ways and at different rates

  • Related but not dependent on age or experience

  • We learn in progression – simple before complex

  • Learn through playing games

  • A need to create a learning environment

  • When interested & ready we will learn

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Fundamental Skill Concepts

Body Awareness

Space Awareness



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Fundamental Skill Categories

  • Loco-motor Skills

  • Stability Skills

  • Manipulative Skills

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What is the impact of your coaching style?

  • Recognise individual learning differences

  • Relate to varying levels of physical & mental maturity

  • Consider prior athlete experiences

  • Meet the needs & interests of individuals

  • Allow perception & a decision making processes

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… is a philosophy to unleash the potential of New Zealand athletes by a style of coaching that promotes learning through ownership, awareness and responsibility

NZ Coach Approach

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The Big Picture athletes by a style of coaching that promotes

Coach knowledge, Instructional, autocratic approach

Athlete knowledge, Questioning, empowered approach

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Instructing athletes by a style of coaching that promotes

Coach Owns Process (It’s all about the Coach)

Coach takes responsibility – athlete not aware

Little accountability lies with athlete

Focus is on TELLING

Athlete reliant on coach?

Instructing v Coaching


  • Athlete Owns Process (It’s all about the Athlete)

  • Coach creates responsibility by raised awareness

  • Athlete is accountable for his/her performance

  • Focus is on LEARNING

  • Athlete has more self-belief

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Is there a “right” technique? athletes by a style of coaching that promotes

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Game Sense approach athletes by a style of coaching that promotes

Players become more tactically aware and therefore able to make better decisions during the game

Players start to develop skills in a realistic context rather than practising them in isolation

Tactics before Technique! (WHY before HOW)

Key is that we have games/activities that challenge and involve, and that we have produced coach independent learners.

Teaching Games for Understanding

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Practice and game design that reduces the amount of verbal input from the coach

Make sure the game design is reflective of key learning goals

All key information sources available so learners can become attuned to them

Use questions to develop awareness.