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UK Coaching Team

Why Do Coaches Shy Away from Using TGfU and CLA in their Sessions?

More should be done to promote the considerable benefits of games-based learning. Matt Wood – lecturer in athletics at Cardiff Metropolitan University and a former National Coach Mentor (Speed) with England Athletics – is happy to oblige. With the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and Constraints-led Approach (CLA) frameworks held in such high regard, he tells Blake Richardson that the potential is there for a revolution in coach education. So what’s the hold-up?

Using TGfU and CLA requires coaches to be proactive and to step out of their comfort zone. The games-based pedagogical models are not more widely used because many coaches lack the confidence to experiment with them – due to a lack of deep understanding of the principles involved. Approaches like CLA and TGfU improve decision-making skills and an athlete’s ability to problem solve under pressure.

We are confronted by a perpetual stream of choices every day of our lives.

Faced with choosing between two possible courses of action, it is human nature to plump for the easy option. Life is far less complicated that way.

In our busy, 21st-century lives, the maverick side of our personality is rarely activated. We prefer to go about our daily routine on autopilot.

You want a Sunday paper from the local shop, which is a three-minute walk away. Do you grab your trainers or your car keys?

You’re in the surf shop on holiday in Cornwall. Do you hire out the bodyboard, happy in the knowledge you will catch almost every wave, or the surfboard, knowing you will plug away all week and maybe stand up for the cumulative total of four seconds?

Your child begs you to show them a magic trick. Do you quickly Google: ‘The world’s easiest magic tricks that will blow your child’s mind’, or do you invest a bit of time and energy in learning how to juggle?

You are a volunteer coach planning your first session of the new season. You have heard some good things about games-based or alternative approaches to learning, and, in the off season, have done some research into TGfU and CLA.

You have two options. Are you brave enough to incorporate the theories into your coaching, or do you stick with your tried and trusted drills, which have never let you down in the past?

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UK Coaching Team