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Organising and Planning

Developing Learning Through Coaching Practice

Insights from Ed Cope on applying the ideas and concepts of scaffolding, feedback, interleaving/varied practice and spacing/retrieval practice to your coaching

In Making Learning Happen, the ideas and concepts of scaffolding, feedback, interleaving/varied practice and spacing/retrieval practice were introduced. This guide explores how they can be embedded into coaching practice, identifying key principles relating to each of the four ideas.

What does scaffolding look like in practice?

The basis of scaffolding is to reduce or increase the difficulty of the task in relation to the abilities of the person you coach.

You can scaffold practice in two ways.

The first is through modifying practice design. A constraints-based approach has become one of the more commonly discussed methods to change:

  • group sizes
  • equipment
  • playing areas
  • rules
  • ways to score goals/points.

For example, if you wanted to develop your participant’s understanding and ability to manipulate their opponents’ positioning on the court during a tennis match, you could modify the space of the court to encourage them to play certain shot types.

For more on this, listen to Using a Constraints-led Approach to Skill Acquisition.

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