Reflective Practice; exploring a coach’s perception of using teaching games for understanding in junior hockey.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Abstract Background: Pre-exiting research surrounding the implementation of Teaching Games of Understanding (TGfU) within pedagogy is broad and dissimilar to traditional method of teaching. The approach proposes to aid the development of learner’s decision making and tactical awareness skills within game environments. Previously there has been limited research regarding the implementation of TGfU outside of teaching and exploring the use of such an approach within sports coaching, particularly field hockey. Aim: The aim of the study is to explore a coach’s perception of utilising the TGfU approach within junior field hockey, over the duration of five weeks. Method: A single UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 1 Welsh Hockey Coach participated within the study. Data was collected utilising a reflective journal in order to determine the coach’s perceptions while implementing TGfU approach within their coaching practice. Results & Discussion: Findings of the study made light of the coaches perceptions when implementing the TGfU approach, highlighting the perceived challenges faced with throughout the process. Research data was inductively analysed, utilising coding methods to formulate relevant themes derived from reflection. Conclusion: The study revealed that the coach perceived the implementation and use of the TGfU approach within junior hockey to be challenging. The main challenges orientated around being less dependent upon session plans and realigning the position as the coach to supports athletes development via facilitation. The finding of TGfU and TGA within this study are fundamentally vital within the shaping of future coaching practice, developing hockey coach’s knowledge of applying such athlete-centred approaches at junior level. Conclusively, if TGfU are to be used within coaching practice, there is a need for future research across all level of coaches. Furthermore, coach education programmes should provide first time coaches with support to ensure effective implementation.
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