When did you last change your mind?

It is not wrong to change our minds over values and beliefs that we have maybe held for a while. Over a period of time I have changed my values and beliefs that guide my coaching philosophy. When I was at football team practice coaching under 7’s to under 10’s, when I first started coaching them we were using a block practice; basically it was focusing on main skills of the sport but you are practicing it more. This kept happening and most of the training, which kept changing led to the training sessions focusing on one skill at a time. This seemed boring to the players but it helps them to learn quicker and enables them to perform and practice the skill properly.  “Blocked practice – All the trails of a given task must be completed before moving on to the next task. This can make for acquisition performances, but hinder long term development.” (Sports Coaching Experiences, 2013).  This is the reason why we kept on doing blocked practice, because they are new to the sport and we chose to give them the task for each skill and when they completed the task we moved on. When we get older we change our practice because of this: “The older we get the more we and our peers value tradition, and tradition of any kind resists change. We learn to take pride in being loyal and consistent which is at odds with progress, growth and learning.” (Scott Berkun, 2014). The reason why we changed our minds for the coaching session is that our players were learning quickly and their continuous growth, made a difference in the block practice method. We changed it to a random practice in the training. “Random Practice refers to practice sessions where multiple skills are incorporated into the same practice session. A predetermined level of competence is not required before moving on to the next skill. In soccer, for example, a random practice might involve time dedicated to individual ball handling skills, followed by passing skills, then heading the ball, and finally specific plays. These multi-tasking types of practices seem to be the most common in the curling environment as in any given practice it is not unusual to see a variety of drills, emphasizing different turns and weights amongst other training variables, incorporated into a single training session.” (Coaching Practice and Techniques, 2012). We used this technique because the abilities of the players was of a high standard and this enabled us to mix in the skills in a session, to perform better and be ready for a game of football.  It made a difference in training by seeing the players focusing as well as enjoying the session but they are gaining more from it and working as team in a sport where it is essential. In this way it increases the standard and quality of the player in training and for coaching aspects it is good to see that changing session methods can have an effect on players learning in any sport. The team that we changed the sessions with managed to win a winter cup trophy and were unbeatable for a while. As a coach you are continually changing your mind as your participants develop and we have to keep up with the flow of the player’s growth.

East Lancashire under 7’s winter cup and team:



Reference list:

Connor McGowan. (2013) Sports Coaching Experiences. Retrieved from: http://connormcgowan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/blocked-v-variable-v-random-practice.html

Gary Crossley. (2012) Coaching Practice and Techniques: Retrieved from: http://hawkscurlinghpc.ca/2012/02/blocked-distributed-and-random-practice-as-it-relates-to-skill-acquisition-in-curling/

Scott Berkun. (2014). When did you last change your mind. Retrieved from: http://scottberkun.com/2014/when-did-you-last-change-your-mind/




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