Repetition is necessary to gain a mastery of a technique or skill. Demonstration's also require repetition in order for players to have a model version to aspire to. Furthermore, allowing players to repeat a corrected version can help overwrite mistakes made. By repeating sessions, coaches can build on previous learning as well as decrease instruction/increase time within activities.
Repetition Of A Technique
Player's need repetition in order to gain a mastery of a skill or technique. It takes time to allow players to repeat the move and develop it, as well as working on the other foot! This can be challenging for coaches to keep players engaged as repetition is often linked with boredom. Having a variety of activities and twists on games can really help to continue getting repetition while engaging the players.
Repetition Of Scenarios
While repeating a technique over and over again will allow players to master 'how' to do something, it alone is not enough. For a technique to become a skill, players need to be able to apply it in the context of the game. Once a player understands the where, when and why of a move (under pressure) then we've progressed from individual technique to a skill.
As a result, a repetition of scenarios is particularly important for giving players an environment to transfer their mastery of the technique to skill. By placing players in a scenario where they might use the technique, they can start to work on where, when and why to use them. As a coach, you can then either:
- Let the game be the teacher
- Guide them to discover it's application
- Use examples of other player's success
- Show them explicitly what you're looking for
Repetition Of A Demonstration
While learning styles are currently being feverishly debunked by teachers across all different areas of expertise, there is one component that will never leave coaching: visuals. Demonstration's are important for showing player's what you're looking for, giving them a model version to aspire to and breaking technique's down for players.
When demonstrating a technique, it is important to:
- Show the technique multiple times, allowing players to focus on different aspects (e.g. this time look at how I drop my shoulder to exaggerate the move)
- Show it at different angles (perhaps seeing a lofted pass from the front, as well as behind, gives players insight into contact with the ball and follow through)
- Do it at different speeds. The full-speed version shows player the model for the technique. The slow-mo version allows players to break it down and chunk the information
Repetition When Making Interventions
When making interventions, a number of coaches focus on correcting players. If a player makes a mistake, the coach may work individually with that player on fixing said issue, have them try it, and then return them to the session. If we take this approach, players have one repetition of doing it incorrectly (if we caught it straight away) and one repetition of the the correct version.
In order to remedy this, coaches should consider having player's do multiple repetition's of the correct version to overwrite their previous experiences of performing the technique. This way, players are rewriting and increasing, their muscle memory for completing the move correctly.
Repetition Of A Session
When running a session for the first time, it is common to spend a decent amount of time explaining activities and making interventions to tweak activities/games. This can take away time from coaching and player's number of repetitions.
As a result, it can be beneficial to repeat entire session's to:
- Get more repetition's of a technique or skill by doing the session again
- Have more time for rep's in activities as there is less need to explain activities they now know how to play
- Build on previous learning with follow on coaching points or learning outcomes
- Repetition within session's is important so that player's can master techniques
- Technique itself is not enough, repetition of the correct game scenario is necessary to transfer from technique to skill
- When correcting, consider having them repeat the correct technique multiple times to rewrite their muscle memory
- Don't be afraid to repeat session's to get players move repetition and build on their learning
Written by: Dean Atkins