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Seeing players as learners

In this video, we want you to be thinking about how you focus on your players needs and how you engage all players within your team
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VICKY GOODYEAR: A key message this week has been that we need to adopt a player-focused approach. And that means seeing learning through the eyes of our players. In this section of the course, we’re going to focus on how you can attend to your player’s needs. In the first part of the video, we’re going to look at three key features of quality practise. And these are active, social, and creative environments. In the second part the video, we’re going to listen to the players on what they think makes a good coach.
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Many of our players want to be active. They will turn up to sessions and start kicking a ball. Or they might start playing a game amongst themselves. This enthusiasm for playing needs to be sustained. For the coach, this means less time talking and more time playing and more time promoting interaction. It also means more time engaged in modified games rather than drill-based practises. In week three, we’re going to further explore the concept of play in detail. But for now, the key message is we need to keep our enthusiasm for being active going. Playing in a team is inevitably social, but some of our players don’t come with the social skills to engage with the team.
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Some players may also be shy and quiet. Others may appear socially confident, but they take over all discussions and limit the engagement of their teammates. The coach’s task, therefore, is to help all players engage socially and appropriately. It means providing opportunities for players feel safe to talk, safe to ask for the ball, and know when to talk and not to take over. Creativity is often linked to enjoyment and confidence. If a player does something different and tries something new during a session or a game, they often go away feeling good. Coaches, therefore, need to foster an environment where players can push the boundaries in how they play the game.
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In sessions, this may mean putting players in different game-based scenarios and encouraging them to problem solve, thinking not about the easiest option but how they might create a new and different option.
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SPEAKER 1: I like it how I get to do matches and challenge myself at things.
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SPEAKER 2: Getting together with mates and meeting new people and playing just to express what you can do. You might be bad elsewhere. But you might be like really good at football and express that in different ways.
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SPEAKER 3: Scoring.
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SPEAKER 4: Being around people and doing what I do best, having the enjoyment of playing and experience of getting better and having a bit of time off everything. It just gives you a freedom.
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SPEAKER 5: Working as a team and getting to know my coaches and different players.
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SPEAKER 6: Playing matches against other players.
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SPEAKER 7: Just playing it really. If I’ve had a bad day, it’s probably football [INAUDIBLE].
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SPEAKER 8: Go out with my friends and play [INAUDIBLE], and then it keeps me fit. I like working hard.
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SPEAKER 9: Just playing against other opposition and playing with teammates, being part of a team, travelling up and down. I’m just playing football, anything that like.
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SPEAKER 10: Working as a team and working hard and trying your best every day.
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SPEAKER 11: Improving and scoring.
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SPEAKER 12: We got into a cup final. All of the excitement and spirit on the bus to go to the pitch.
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SPEAKER 13: Playing as a team and not just leaving anyone out and everyone getting together and just having a good game.
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SPEAKER 14: Just playing as a team and making friends with the people.
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SPEAKER 15: Well, I like getting some [INAUDIBLE] in.
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VICKY GOODYEAR: During this video, we focused on how you might see learning through the eyes of your players. We’ve spoken about active, social, and creative coaching. And we’ve listened to our players on what they think makes a good coach. In the task that followed, there are a few things for you to do to now apply your understandings about how you might see learning through your players’ eyes.
In the previous videos this week, a key message has been that coaches need to adopt a player-focused approach – that is, to see learning through the eyes of their players in developing creativity.
In this video, we want you to be thinking about how you focus on your players’ needs and how you engage all players within your team. In the first part, I’ll look at the features of quality practice, specifically in 3 areas:
  1. activity
  2. social
  3. creativity
In the second part, we’ll then listen to players on what they think makes a good coach.
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Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players

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