How effective actually are game based sessions in comparison to traditional coaching sessions. This blog will reflect upon the video below, that compares the two styles of coaching and how they differ.


So, upon reflection of the first coach in the video it is clear to see that this coach is very instructive and talks the players through the movements they are doing first. The coach demonstrates a technique for all of the participants to follow, effectively making the participants robots. Schum and National Soccer Coaches of America Staff, (2004) stated “I like to give players the freedom to make decisions” and this is a statement that I totally agree with. The first coach does not have this thought at any point during his session as his focus is to demo the skill and instruct the players on how to do this. This doesn’t give the players any freedom in relation to making their own decisions when taking a shot. In turn this has a negative impact upon the creativity of the participants too. If they are not being allowed to think for themselves then they are not going to develop the creative side to their game either, are they? The only way to do this would be through a game based approach as it resembles a game situation consequently forcing the athletes to think on their feet and use the skill that has been taught using a game based situation in training.

On the contrary the second coach uses a totally different approach which follows the TGFU (Teaching Games For Understanding) theory which Rod Thorpe developed by conducting TGFU workshops around Australia (Webb and Pearson, 2008). This approach uses questioning to stimulate thinking as opposed to telling players what to do (Jones and Kingston, 2013). The coach allows the players to play the game planned however he did not instruct the players on the technique to use when playing a shot, like coach one did. He stood at the side of the court and observed. This enabled the coach to question the players which made them think how they could change what they did, for the better in the future. In SportsCoachUK, (2012)’s handbook of Identifying Excellent Coaching Practice along the Sporting Pathway it was stated that “Athletes agreed that their sessions were fun and never boring and as a result they always looked forward to going to training”. By not executing drill after drill the players will not be bored. As a result this will motivate them to perform in the game based session, where they can use their brain and answer the coaches’ questions. This will develop the players learning and develop them as a whole.


In conclusion I believe that the best way to develop every aspect of a player is through the game based approach. Players often try new things when in a game situation because they have the freedom to do so. If these type of situations from games are brought into training then players will have the confidence to try this week in week out. At the same time players will be having fun because they are playing a game in training, consequently when I coach in the future I will ensure that this approach is used. Not only does it keep players engaged but it significantly benefits their learning too, as seen in the video from coach two’s approach.             



 Jones, R. L. and Kingston, K. (2013) An introduction to sports coaching: Connecting theory to practice. United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis.

Schum, T. and National Soccer Coaches of America Staff (2004) The Soccer Coaching Bible. 1st edn. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.

SportsCoachUK (2012) Identifying Excellent Coaching Practice along the Sporting Pathway. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 16 November 2015).

Webb, P. I. and Pearson, P. J. (2008) An Integrated Approach to Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 16 November 2015).


One thought on “Game Based Approach To Coaching

  1. You are demonstrating your understanding of the coaching process and making links between the behavior of the coach and the development of creative players. Try and read more widely, especially in relation to TGfU, Game Based coaching and Constraints led Coaching Practice.

    Making good progress, well done.


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