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Power of question why!? Not what and how but Why?
Few years back when I had been preparing my coaching sessions, I was focus on what I want players to learn and how I am going to do that. My obsession with content of my session plans was sky high. It came to a point, where I completely forgot about very important question, namely Why? My own experiences as well as many other coaches I came across when educate, mentoring or working with rarely asked themselves: Why do I want my players to learn this or that? If we want players to do something, we have to make an effort to explain why? If we don’t, they won’t listen, don’t understand and in consequences no learning will take place. When you include the ‘why’ in your sessions, players will know the reason for their learning and your coaching will be more effective. Here are few simple tips for power of question ‘why’.
1. Dribbling, Passing, Receiving, Side on, Open body-the what?
How often do you say to your players: ‘Pass into space’ or ‘Receiving on back foot’? Do you equally often explain to them why they have to do that? If you don’t, then they will be executing the technique or a skill without knowing why? If they don’t have that information, they simply won’t learn and in consequences your entire time practice is waste. Your players will be less likely improving game understanding; thus, they will be less effective in decision making and problem solving during the game.
2. Keep it close, further foot away from the defender-the how?
I am sorry to repeat myself again here, but if you explain to your players how to do it, do you also tell them why? It is not enough for them just to be a receiver of generic information, they crying for explanation why? Once they know the reason, they learning process became purposeful. Their game understanding increase and therefore they became better prepare to play football in future.
3. Do I question myself ‘why’ often enough?
Today find and copy a training session is easy. All you need to do is google it and there you go, ready session plan or practice game. I am not here to preach this is wright or wrong. What I would say again, do you asked yourself ‘why’ do you want your players to practice that? Why do you want them to play that game and do you be able to explain to your players ‘why’ they need to play it? Believe or not is really not about the session you prepared on your own (preferred because is yours), find on internet or elsewhere but the reason why make your players learning develop.
4. Reflective practice-I can be a better coach
Do you reflect on your sessions? I often hear coaches saying: They didn’t learn, why? Perhaps because you didn’t explain well enough why they have to learn this or that? You were to focus to fill in the content of the session. The problem is, you plan for delivery the content of the session and not for players learning. If coaches shift their focus on learning, they will have enough room on piece a paper to ask ‘why’ and much less for ‘what’ and ‘how’!
5. How we coach or how they learn?
Is not about us, it never was. It was always about player and the way the learn. Understanding how players and people learn will influence our questions why. If you understand little Joe or Jenny learning process your ‘why’ will have thru meaning, real purpose and clear aims they aspire too.