- May 3, 2005
- AFL Club
- Brisbane Lions
- Other Teams
- Scuderia Ferrari, Dallas Cowboys
The mention of learning styles worries me. This concept has been disproven by research.
In practice, scaffolding and differentiation are still core planks of teaching students with different needs regardless of what research on something as broad and nebulous as “learning styles” indicates.
I have no doubt there would be players who are able to strengthen their understanding of a gameplan and their performances by looking at videos, stats, and X and Os on a whiteboard.
Then within that there would be players who just instantly look at the video and instantly say “yep, I let my opponent get goalside of me at that ball up, got it” or “as soon as that ball was turned over I needed to sprint to the fat wing and close down the switch, I need to react quicker next time”. Then there might be players who need it to be pointed out and explained in more detail, and look at a bunch of similar case studies to identify what should happen in each case.
Then there would be other players who get relatively little from this sort of analysis and make 90 percent of their learning gains out on the field actually executing it at training and being coached on the fly. Let’s face it, while the “research” on how knowledge is acquired might indicate that it is basically the same for everyone, that doesn’t change the fact that if someone is bored, they will be less engaged, and learn less.
Teaching is about using limited resources and time to get the best outcome from your cohort. You don’t have time to waste telling individuals stuff that they already know, or banging your head against a wall trying to explain something in theoretical terms to another individual something that they are really only going to learn and entrench through hands on practice and experience.
As with pretty much everything in football, every small percentage edge you can eek out is vital. Understanding how your players learn most effectively and building your teaching program around that is simply another opportunity to gain an extra couple of percent. I’d be annoyed if we weren’t looking at this.