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A sports coach fulfils a leadership role within sport, which is characterised by goals based on improved sports performance. The purpose of this essay is to present a rational for the methods (teaching styles) chosen by a physical education group to support a coaching plan. This paper aims to demonstrate why it is important to have excellent knowledge of the activity been taught and also to show why effective communication is used. It will also show why demonstrations are used in a coaching context and one will illustrate why there is a need for feedback. "Coaching is an art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another" (Downey, p21. 2003).
Sub-aqua is the activity chosen for the purpose of the coaching practice. Beneath the surface of the water lies another world and one may enjoy the freedom from gravity. This group decided that a democratic approach would be best suited to the coaching session. It can provide the opportunity to create a more conducting environment. A democratic approach will allow the coach to offer and share guidance to the other group members as this will permit them to be more interactive and have their input during performance. By using a democratic approach the coach can be positive with feedback and use interactive forms communication. Also decision-making is performance-led, person-centred and the Goal becomes more of a process.
Mazur (1990) defines learning as a change in individual's caused by experience. The focus of learning aims to enhance pupil's knowledge, understand sub-aqua activities, provide a fun and enjoyable lesson, advance the confidence, and skills of all pupils. Thus skills in an array of activities comprising of submerging, clearing the mask, surface diving and buddy breathing. As a group one will emphasise key teaching points throughout this session, using clear visual aids in the form of demonstrations. Hodges & Franks (2004) state that for tasks which require the sequencing together of segments that are not easily captured by verbal labels, the requirements will not easily be conveyed by verbal instructions. Within the coaching session, demonstrations will be key in the learning process as participants will be beginners. "A beginner may initially find that a more didactic instructional style helps in understanding the requirements of the task" (Honeybourne, p128. 2004). Therefore it will be more appropriate to use simple rather than complex instructions alongside demonstrations. Demonstrations are the most common way of presenting information to performers, and can give a clear picture of the action required (Foxon, 1999). The participants can then attempt to copy the demonstration hence the need for a high quality demonstration. Demonstrations are important at certain stages of the coaching process, before the skill is performed, throughout the performance period and as a conclusion to a performance. After the presentations the participants will engage in the exercises that were demonstrated as per conditions of the teaching style. Using the command teaching style, participants will follow every decision that the coach makes regarding the quality, quantity, order of exercises, when to begin and the procedure of each task. Task directions and critical analysis will also be provided in order to advance skill and technique when the children conduct their activity. Following demonstrations participants will perform each exercise as per the conditions of each teaching style. According to Metzler (2000) the selection of a particular teaching style depends on a number of factors including the intended learning outcomes, the teaching context and environment, and the learner's development stage.
Mosston teaching styles.
Style A Command - the teacher makes all decisions
Style B Practice - the Students carry out teacher-prescribed tasks
Style C Reciprocal - the Students work in pairs: one performs, the other provides feedback
Style D Self-check -the Students assess their own performance against criteria
Style E Inclusion - the Teacher planned. Student monitors own work.
Style F Guided Discovery - the Students solve teacher set movement problems with assistance
Style G Divergent -the Students solve problems without assistance from the teacher
Style H Individual -the Teacher determines content. Student plans the programme.
Style I Learner Initiated - the Student plans own programme. Teacher is advisor.
Style J Self Teaching -the Student takes full responsibility for the learning process.
Mosston & Ashworth (2002) presents a framework for deliberate teaching. A - D teaching styles primary focus is on reproducing what is known. F - J styles focus on discover learning. The use of appropriate teaching styles makes an important contribution to learning in physical education (Bailey, 2000). Command, practice, guided discovery and divergent are the main teaching styles used within the coaching session. Participants will have the chance to self-evaluate themselves throughout the lesson as recognizing the mutual benefits gained will be important. Mosston & Ashworth (2002) suggest in the command teaching style, students learn to perform a task accurately and quickly as presented by the teacher. The researcher will employ command, practice, guided discovery and divergent teaching styles into the teaching practice. Using Mosston's spectrum provides for inclusion and the model is best suited for all learners. The spectrum also offers for a less teacher directed lesson and a more student centred which can leave the teacher to observe and give feedback.
Constructive feedback increases self-awareness, offers options as well as opinions and encourages self-development (Parsloe & Leedham, 2009). Although Positive feedback will be provided to the participants on what went well, feedback on poor performance can be equally useful as an aid to development. One of the main teaching points will be to have the ability to identify and correct faults to maximise learning. In the early stages of learning participants may struggle to understand the movement to be performed (kicking from the hip and having long straight legs when wearing fins). In the event of this happening one will simplify the required task demands by trying to reduce the number of moving body parts involved in the skill. Jones, Hughes & Kingston (2008) state that before progressing to random practice, beginners may need time to explore and develop the basic required co-ordinated pattern of movement. It is important that the recipient believes that the coach is competent when delivering feedback as a lack of knowledge may affect the recipient's self-assurance. In addition to this one will also listen to the participant's discussions, in order to clarify that they have understood and have obtained the correct technique and teaching points relevant to the activity.
The group will have a very good knowledge of all activities with the coaching session. There are many models and theories which have been proposed as description of knowledge (Schon, 1987 cited in Gordon, 2009). Gordon 2009 states there are two forms of knowledge which can relate to the coaching process. The first "theoretical knowledge" refers to what is learned through education such as qualifications. The second theory refers to what is experience developed through coaching experience. The development of the skills, knowledge and confidence required will be the main goal for the coaching session. The more confidence the learner has during performance, the more fun and the more successful they will be in learning. The researcher will want to build a positive relationship from the beginning of the coaching session. The author (coach) will want the learner to know that their coach will be competent of what is been taught. Weinberg et al, (2001) states that goal-setting research has strongly supported the contention that specific, challenging goals lead to higher levels of task performance than do-your-best goals, easy goals, or no goals. Goals can direct ones thinking towards certain outcomes while promoting concentration. With goals insight, routines and practice make sense.
To be successful in influencing others and allowing others to influence you-to be a leader, a coach-you must master communication skills, both nonverbal and verbal (Martens, 1987). Nonverbal communication messages can be sent using physical appearance like body language for example. As the participants are beginners a sense of empathy will be required especially when the session involves been in water. Whitworth, et al (2009) supports this coaching method stating that participants will feel safer, more secure and trust grows thus why listening is so important to coaching. Have a loud and clear voice and ensure teaching position is effective and visible to all. Effective teaching and learning methods requires many different teaching styles. Frequent provision of feedback is a component of effective coaching. In a lesson the coach will have to decide whether to use a series of constituent components or as a whole. Identifying the skills needed by a coach is a key feature of coach education and personal development (Lyle, 2003). One can see from this paper that helping people to learn how to learn is one the main objective for a coach. However, the role of a coach is multidimensional.