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How can you alter your style of teaching to meet the demands of different practice and competitive situations for individual, racket and team activities?

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Introduction

Adam Clarke HOW CAN YOU ALTER YOUR STYLE OF TEACHING TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF DIFFERENT PRACTICE AND COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL, RACKET AND TEAM ACTIVITIES? The job of a teacher or coach is to create the right conditions for learning in order to motivate, keep safe and develop the skills of the people they are teaching. Good teaching and coaching "enables the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavours."(United Kingdom Coaching Strategy). However, there is not one particular style of teaching that is considered the correct way to do this, but that the teaching style must be suited to the demands of the environment. Therefore, a good coach or teacher must be able to alter his or her teaching style to meet the demands of different sporting activities. The range of teaching styles is often put on a spectrum from A to J. Style A is the Command Style. It consists of the teacher making all the decisions for the group, and is very authoritative. For example, the teacher would say what they were to do, for how long and then provide feedback after. The students or athletes have no say in the running of the activity but instead follows the orders of the coach. ...read more.

Middle

This is so that the performers are able to pick up the basic knowledge of how to perform an activity, for example, a gymnast must first be taught the technique to correctly do a somersault before they can begin to practise it or plan a routine correctly. Once this basic knowledge is acquired and the performer gains in experience and ability, there are then possibilities to use different styles of teaching. In general, most team sports should be taught using the command style. This is particularly true in practise situations were skills must be learnt, or the activity is dangerous. For example, a rugby coach may show his team how to tackle who will then practise tackling for a period of time, receiving command style feedback on errors or improvements. This Fixed Practise style, B, allows performers to over-learn the skill, safely. Perhaps as a team becomes better and more experienced, a problem solving approach could be used in practises. For example, a hockey team could go and create their own short corner plays within the group, with the coach providing advice and feedback on the moves. However, this is unlikely as teams often vary in ability and therefore some players will still need to be commanded and taught either by the coach or another player. During game situations in team sports, the coach generally has a choice on what style of teaching to use, based on his character and the experience of the team. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would be particularly effective if a player of a high standard helped a less experienced player, which can "enhance the self-image of the learners"(Dougherty and Bonanno 1987). In a game situation, coaches or teachers for racket and individual sports are often forced to use a problem solving style or even style J, self-teaching. This is because most of these sports do not allow competitors to receive coaching during matches. For example in badminton, the coach is not allowed onto the court and is not allowed to feedback to the competitor until after the game is finished. Similarly in gymnastics, once a certain routine has begun, the coach has no input. This means that the player must make their own decisions on tactics and the likes, or receive coaching from another player, which would be possible in doubles racket sports. In conclusion, there are two trends showing how teaching style alters. As the size of the group decreases, a less authoritative and more individual, guided approach should be taken, as there is less need to maintain control, and the coach can focus on the individual needs of certain performers. Secondly, in general, as an activity becomes more competitive, the coach has less input, and so the style moves across the spectrum to a more learner centred teaching style, as supposed to a command style. However, there is no correct method for any sport and the best is likely to be a combination of several styles, creating a teaching style that is perfect for the activity. ...read more.

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