Helping players to create their own practice
“What would you like to practice today”
Is it a fair question to ask a player? ….. I’m not sure that it is
I’ve heard that question many times at the start of a session
In a recent conversation with a coach, we discussed this question and how it seemed valid and a sensible thing for a coach to ask.
However, whilst we agreed that it sounded like a simple request there were underlying problems. As we chatted, the subject became more complex than we’d initially imagined.
Our discussion centred on the fact that players are not generally coached (encouraged) to consider how they practice. Therefore to ask someone at the start of a session with no prior notice and no training, is that fair?
Develop the skills required to effectively consider what to practice and to understand what ‘practice’ is
We decided that to respond to the original question (with limited preparation) players need to understand and have knowledge in these areas: critical reflection when assessing their skills, and an appreciation of practice types (game-likeness elements).
Expecting these skills/knowledge in players could be a tough ask. It could be argued that it takes coaches a long time to develop them and therefore what are the coaches’ expectations when they ask “What would you like to practice today?”
Do you expect your players to be able to handle this question, if you do how do you go about helping them develop the necessary skills/knowledge?
Different Questions to ask
At the start of the session ask –
- What did we do in the last session, how did you feel about the things we did, and should we repeat any parts?
- Here are 3 practices/themes I have in mind, which shall we do?
At the end of the session ask –
- Which parts (practices/themes) of today do we need to repeat next time?
- Next time, can you come along with 2 variations of practice you want to do, what subtle things would you change?
Do you ever ask questions like this?
How do you prepare your players to be engaged in their future practice design?
Why not be that coach that purposefully trains and develops players rather than just randomly ask them
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
As always, I’m very grateful if you have read this far 🙂
I’d love to hear your views about what you think this badminton stroke is called and how you practice it.
Why not send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is part of a series of conversation starters.
Although not in detail, the posts are written to get you thinking and talking with others.