Practical of constraints led coaching

In practical I took part in a cricket session which focused on bowling and they had to use the concept of constraints led coaching. They began the session by putting us into two teams, one team was fielding and the other team were batting in pairs. They told the bowlers to aim for the wickets and keep the ball on target. Each bowler had 6 attempts to get the batter out and after their 6 attempts they had to change bowler so everyone had a chance to bowl. They had to change it after the coaches noticed that the bowlers were improving so they decided to take one wicket out of the stumps so that the bowlers then had 2 wickets to aim at, rather than three. The coaches again changed it by removing another wicket so that we had one wicket to aim at, it made it harder so us to get the batter out and it made us think on our own how to get them out or we had to change are bowling technique. I really enjoyed the session but there was only one team had the chance to bowl and since the session was on bowling in cricket they decided to change the session all together. They separated the area into three different bowling areas and first one was for beginners for the people who never bowled before. The second was for average bowlers who have the confidence to bowl but need more practise to improve and the third one was for professional’s area who play cricket at a high standard. We get to choose which one to go in. I decided to go in the beginners because I wanted to get my technique right before moving up to the average area, when I did move up I started to improve my technique and I also started to hitting the stumps by getting my aim right. I think the coaches did a great session on constraints led coaching because they let us find answers to solve the problem on are own.


Constraints Led Coaching

Constraints Led Coaching is a style of coaching where the coach takes a particular technique, skill or tactic from a whole game. the coach can isolate it into a small sided game and lets the players find answers to solve the problem. Damian Farrow says about the Constraints Led Coaching “It’s the design of games using different scoring systems that require the players to use particular techniques or strategies to win the game. simply tell the players the scoring system and then just let them play. Allow them time to determine the most appropriate strategy and response rather than explicitly telling them the solution”.


This diagram shows the constraints for the training session. For individual will be their Physical, Mental and Personality. The environmental is their Physical by the weather type and size of surfaces and also the Cultural of the difference of Kenyan runners and Indian spin bowlers. For the task can be the rules, using different equipment, using different player numbers and time.

The environmental constraints include parks, backyards, empty spaces and alleyways that provide the backdrop for early sport experiences of many active children. These environmental constraints should not be under-estimated in the development of expertise in sport as they provide a non-threatening environment where children can learn to play sports without the pressure of adult interference. It has become apparent in the dynamic interactive settings of physical education that movement skill acquisition occurs as a consequence of the interplay of numerous interacting constraints, which need to be considered in pedagogical practice (Davids, Chow, & Shuttleworth, 2005). Mind, body and the environment are continuously influencing each other to shape behavior. Motor learning is a process of acquiring movement patterns which satisfy the key constraints on each individual (Davids, Button, & Bennett, 2008). This can help the outdoor leaders design a learning experiences that recognize the constant and reciprocal nature of learner and environment, the union between perception and action. The learner is placed at the centre of the process and makes movements and decisions derived from unique interacting individual, task and environmental constraints. Small changes to individual structural and task rules or equipment. Environmental constraints in learning contexts can cause dramatic changes in movement patterns.


Reference List

Davids, K., Chow, J-Y., & Shuttleworth, R. (2005). A constraints-led framework for non-linear pedagogy in physical education. Journal of Physical Education, New Zealand, 38, 17-29.

Davids, K., Button, C., & Bennett, S. J. (2008). Dynamics of skill acquisition: A constraints-led approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.



Teaching games for understanding (TGfU)

What is TGfU? Teaching Games for Understanding approach has caused considerable debate in game teaching for the last two decades The TGfU focuses upon teaching students tactical understanding before dealing with the performance of skills, as such the TGfU offers a tactical approach to games teaching emphasizing game performance before skill performance (Griffin, Mitchell, & Oslin, 1997). which allows the game performance to understand the tactical awareness, which leads to effective skill selection and skill execution.

The background to the TGfU approach is that it first started in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s. The ideas were spawned by Thorpe, Bunker, & Almond (1986) and drew on the earlier work of Mauldon & Redfern (1981). The reason why TGfU approach was proposed as an alternative to the technique approach because it was noted that techniques practiced in isolation did not transfer to the game. In addition Bunker & Thorpe (1986a) observed, and we believe this is still the same today, that the “games teaching shows at best, a series of highly structured lessons leaning heavily on the teaching of techniques, or at worst lessons which rely on the children themselves to sustain interest in the game.” The Teaching Games of understand approach was the best way to put the Why of a game before the How.

Skill acquisition and game play:  

In tennis, becoming skilled is a gradual process that involves learning to implement the most appropriate movement pattern for situations that arise in game play. The problem that novice tennis players face is multifaceted; they need to learn which environmental cues are important and which are redundant in order to selectively attend to only the most essential information (Abernethy, 1987). Based on this information, the players need to select tactics during the game that will allow them the best opportunity to score a point, they also need to the coordinate patterns of movement that will have a effectively advantage over their opponent. specially tennis is a high moving sport which the players need to have a lot of tactics to beat their opponent.

Reference list

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

Abernethy, B. (1987). Anticipation in sport: A review. Physical Education Review, 10(1),

Bunker, D., & Thorpe, R. (1986a). Is there a need to reflect? In R. Thorpe, D. Bunker, & L. Almond (Eds.), Rethinking games teaching (pp. 25-34). Loughborough


Game based approaches to coaching is very important for coach, the reason why it is important is that some participants just want to play games and not listen to the coaching techniques. when a coach is talking to their participants but they might think they are listening to them by giving them the instructions on the training season but what they hearing is Blah Blah Blah, when they hear the word ‘game’ they soon listen and ask who’s the captain and how long is the game going to last.

The coach can do a Game based approach by using the game to see the benefits of the participants and ask questions about what happened in the game and the challengers during the game. For example

  • Warm up
  • game
  • questions and challenges
  • back to game
  • more question and challenges
  • progress the game
  • cool down

The benefit using the Game Based Approach can be that the participants are enjoying the session because its a game and also the coach can see the strengths and weaknesses of their participants and they can help them to progress in the game. the game based approach will be better then the traditional coaching session because it only has the warm up, technique drills, game and cool down, the participants will get bored and won’t listen to them.

The FA future game vision for the players what to produce technically excellent and innovative players, with exceptional decision making skills. The FA Future Games says “A young player who is made to feel confident, capable and trusted to be creative will have a greater chance of fulfilling their potential than one who feels afraid to fully express themselves.” and “It is crucial that young players experience the dynamic nature of the game of football, where they are challenged to make appropriate decisions and movements in the context of the game”. here a image from the FA Tesco Skills of some drills for the counter attacking in A Game Based Approach.



The FA Tesco Skills. (2015). A Games Based Approach to Coaching Bringing The FA Future Game to Life. Counter Attacking: Retrieved from:—a-games-based-approach-to-coaching.ashx