Posted by Dean Holden at June 10th, 2014
by Innovate FC, 22 May 2014
PseudoCoaching…you might have seen it and you might be doing it.
A few research papers and an online blog got us thinking about this idea.
The research papers were (and for “football” read “soccer” if you are from the U.S.):
“Developing Skill in Football Players” by Paul R. Ford who is a Research Associate in Motor Behaviour at Liverpool John Moores University.
“Developing Expertise-The Road to Excellence in Football” by Paul R. Ford and Mark Williams who is Professor of Motor Behaviour and Head of Science and Football at Liverpool John Moores Univesity and Associate Dean Research and Innovation,Professor of Exercise and Sport Science at The Univesity of Sydney.
“Learning Football Skills Effectively : Challenging Tradition” by Mark Williams.
Here is an excerpt from “Learning Football Skills Effectively:Challenging Tradition”:
“Practice is the single most important factor underlying the development of elite players.
In contrast to its perceived importance, relatively little effort has been devoted to the process of identifying those factors underpinning effective practice or how the acquisition of skills can be facilitated through the instruction process. This is particularly disappointing when one considers the amount of time devoted to physical conditioning or mental skills training by scientists and coaches alike. Questions relating to practice and instruction have historically been viewed as the preserve of the coach, with current practice being driven by intuition and subjectivity rather than empirical evidence. Moreover, there has been no census of the typical training activities or instructional approaches employed by coaches at various levels of the game.
In summary, the aim in this article was to highlight potential shortcomings with the traditional approach to practice and instruction.”
We then found an online blog called “Action-Reaction”(Reflections on the dynamics of teaching) run by Frank Noschese who is a Physics teacher at John Jay High School.
The blog talks about a “pseudoteaching” and provides the following definition:
Pseudoteaching is something you realize you’re doing after you’ve attempted a lesson which from the outset looks like it should result in student learning, but upon further reflection, you realize that the very lesson itself was flawed and involved minimal learning.
…and goes on to state:
The key idea of pseudoteaching is that it looks like good teaching. In class, students feel like they are learning, and any observer who saw a teacher in the middle of pseudoteaching would feel like he’s watching a great lesson. The only problem is, very little learning is taking place.
Hooking in with the ideas in the research papers listed above away we thought…PseudoCoaching…it is obviously going on!
Could it be defined as:the
PseudoCoaching is something you realize you’re doing after you’ve attempted a coaching session which from the outset looks like it should result in student learning. On further reflection, you realize that the very session itself was flawed and involved minimal learning.
PseudoCoaching looks like good coaching. Players feel like they are learning and any observer might think that they are watching a great session. The only problem is, that very little learning is taking place.
Everyone can learn by reviewing and analysing what they do. We think it would be a useful exercise for coaches to check what they do against some of the points in the above named research papers.
We have adapted a few lines from another blog called “Educating Grace” to clarify the purpose of identifying PseudoCoaching:
…….try to identify instances of superficial learning so that we can learn from them and catch places in our own sessions where we can become better…. not to point fingers or play a “gotcha” game.
<I recommend you check the InnovateFC site out here. Some good blog entries! – DH>