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A Tactical Games Approach to Teaching Sport Skills . Why use a tactical approach?. Critics of traditional teaching of sports & games in physical education argue that sports are: Elitist - focus is on the higher skilled Overly competitive - winning and losing is emphasis excessively

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why use a tactical approach
Why use a tactical approach?

Critics of traditional teaching of sports & games in physical education argue that sports are:

  • Elitist - focus is on the higher skilled
  • Overly competitive - winning and losing is emphasis excessively
  • Do not promote health and fitness - active participation is low for most participants
in traditional teaching approaches
In TraditionalTeaching Approaches

Skill development is not apparent during game play because skills have been taught in isolation outside of their tactical context.

InTacticalTeaching Approaches

Skills and tactics are linked by emphasizing the proper timing of skill practice and skill application within the tactical context of the game.

“Tactical awareness, critical to game performance, is the ability to identify tactical problems that arise during a game and to select the appropriate responses to solve them.”
rationale for a tactical approach
Rationale for a Tactical Approach
  • Greater interest and excitement
  • Better understanding of game play
  • Improved ability to play games
interest excitement
Traditional approach is technical and focuses on answering the question, “How is this skill performed?”

Skills are taught before students understand their significance in a game.

Drills lead students to ask, “Why are we doing this?” and “When can we play the game?”

Skilled students perceive isolated drills to be irrelevant.

Research has shown that tudents find the tactical approach motivational and teachers prefer to use it as a way to teach games.

Interest & Excitement
better understanding of game play
Better Understanding of Game Play

If your students do not understand the game, their ability to identify the correct technique for a situation is impaired…

…An increased understanding of games achieved through teaching for tactical awareness, will empower students to solve the problems that game situations pose more easily and skillfully.

improved ability to play games
Improved Ability to Play Games

A tactical approach may provide your students with carryover for understanding from one game to another…

For example, tactical problems in soccer, hockey, and basketball are similar.

rationale for tactical games approach summarized
Rationale for Tactical Games Approach Summarized
  • Greater interest and excitement for all students especially those of lower abilities
  • Improvements in tactical knowledge help to improve game performance of skills
  • Deeper understanding of game play helps students to transfer skills to new situations and other games
tactical games teaching
Tactical Games Teaching
  • Allows for individualization if students are presented with more complex tactical solutions
  • Uses small-sided games to expose students to specific tactical problems
  • Requires careful posing of questions from teachers to stimulate critical thinking and problem solving
tactical games teaching cont
Tactical Games Teaching cont.
  • Should start from a game form modified to represent the advanced form that poses a tactical problem and stimulates students to think tactically
  • Students must be challenged to think:
    • What do I need to do to succeed in this situation?
    • How will I perform the necessary skills?
tactical teaching approach summary
Tactical Teaching Approach Summary
  • Consider the tactical problems to address during your unit and decide on the complexity of solutions to these problems
  • Within each lesson students practice skill development after they have experienced a game form that presents a tactical problem requiring use of that skill
tactical teaching approach summary cont
Tactical Teaching Approach Summary cont.
  • Make the link between the initial modified game and skill practice through your questions - the quality of these questions is critical
  • After practicing the skills give your students the opportunity to apply their improved skills and tactical understanding in a game

For more information read:

Griffin, L.L., Mitchell, S. A., & Oslin, J.L. (1997). Teaching sport concepts and skills: A tactical games approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics