ERIC Number: EJ1153246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
What Learning Environments Help Improve Decision-Making?
O'Connor, Donna; Larkin, Paul; Williams, A. Mark
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v22 n6 p647-660 2017
Background: Decision-making is a key component of performance in sport. However, there has been minimal investigation of how coaches may adapt practice sessions to specifically develop decision-making. Purpose: The aim in this exploratory study was to investigate the pedagogical approaches coaches use to develop decision-making in soccer. Method: Youth soccer coaches (n = 29) currently coaching youth teams (U11-U17) in Australia were filmed conducting two practice sessions. The first session was a regular training session, whereas in the second session, participants were asked to create an activity they believed would promote the development of on-ball decision-making. Systematic observation of the learning and teaching (LandT) component of each session was undertaken to provide a detailed analysis of the coach behaviours and practice activities in which they had players engage. During this activity, the number of on-ball actions was measured to reflect the associated decision-making opportunities. Coaches indicated how they believed decision-making is developed in players, the strategies they would employ to improve decision-making, the perceived success of the activity (i.e. did they achieve their aims), and modifications they would make if conducting the activity again. Data analysis: To assess differences between the regular training LandT activity and decision-making-specific LandT activity, coach behaviours, and on-ball actions, a Mann-Whitney U test was conducted. Coach perceptions were deductively analysed to identify main themes. Findings: Participants identified three main strategies for incorporating decision-making into training activity -- repetition of real scenarios with guided discovery, prompting decision-making by providing cues or solutions, and manipulating the game/activity. There were no differences in the frequency, average duration, or the percentage of allocated time for any of the practice activity variables (i.e. Playing Form; Training Form; Inactivity), coach behaviours (instructions; questions; management) or the number of on-ball decisions per minute between the regular activity and decision-making-specific activity (p > 0.05). Descriptive statistics indicated the coaching practice was stop-start in nature for coaches to instruct or ask questions. Conclusions: Participants generally use strategies which may promote decision-making opportunities for players such as the use of questioning, constraints-led pedagogy, and Playing Form rather than Training Form activities. However, findings provide evidence to suggest the participants over-coach, with high amounts of instruction and a very stop-start nature to the activity. This coaching practice potentially limits the problem-solving and decision-making demands on players.
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Decision Making, Mixed Methods Research, Team Sports, Athletic Coaches, Youth, Foreign Countries, Athletes, Drills (Practice)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A