Learning and teaching curriculums, A Decision/Action Model for Soccer-Pt.9


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Learning and teaching curriculums - A Decision/Action Model for Soccer – Pt. 9

“There is one basic golden rule. Coaching is not about technique; coaching is about the game and how it unfolds, and about developing the player’s proficiency and competitive maturity, and it is about enjoyment.” KNVB's Coaching Soccer - Bert van Lingen.

A curriculum should reflect and enable this rule.

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Learning and teaching curriculums, A Decision/Action Model for Soccer-Pt.9

  1. 1. 1A Decision/Action Model for Soccer – Pt 9Learning and teaching curriculums“There is one basic golden rule. Coaching is not about technique; coaching isabout the game and how it unfolds, and about developing the player’sproficiency and competitive maturity, and it is about enjoyment.” [26]A curriculum should reflect and enable this rule“We develop national curriculums, ambitious corporate training programs, complex schoolingsystems. We wish to cause learning, to take charge of it, direct it, accelerate it, demand it, oreven simply stop getting in the way of it… Therefore, our perspectives on learning matter: whatwe think about learning influences where we recognize learning, as well as what we do whenwe decide that we must do something about it – as individuals, as communities, and asorganizations.” Etienne Wenger [30]“A learning curriculum consists of situated opportunities… [It] is a field of learning resources ineveryday practice viewed from the perspective of learners. A teaching curriculum, by contrast…[structures] resources for learning, the meaning of what is learned… [and] is mediated throughan instructor’s participation, by an external view of what knowing is about.” Lave & Wenger [12]
  2. 2. 2Learning and teaching curriculums – an overview“[A Learning curriculum] does imply participation in an activity system about which participants shareunderstanding concerning what they are doing and what that means in their lives.” [12]Learning curriculumIt’s origin is in the apprenticeship model.Learning is situated in a heterogeneouscommunity of practice.Learning is aimed at contributing to anactivity and creating an identity within it.A heavy emphasis on collaboration andtrust.Learn by doing, reflecting, negotiating.Standards are an inner appreciation againstexternal measures. Self respect in context.Repair and maintenance on a local level.Rules of open systems and boundedrationality applies.Knowledge gained for useTeaching curriculumIt’s origin is in school systems developed tosupport the industrial revolution.Learning is done in a decontextualizedenvironment between the teacher andhomogeneous students.Learning is aimed at gaining exchangeknowledge for the title of ‘graduate.’A heavy emphasis on isolation and mistrust.Learn by internalizing concepts, rules, facts.Standards are an inner appreciation againsttheoretical measures. Self esteem in general.Building and construction on a global level.Rules of closed systems and unbounded,formal rationality applies.Knowledge gained for exchange.
  3. 3. 3Curriculums find their origin in school models“The public schools prepared their boys for service in the army, the civil service and other positions of authority. Theelementary schools were required to teach their pupils to be obedient to their future master’s needs.” [16]“Present day schooling came from about 300 years ago, and it came from the last, and the biggest of theempires on this planet [the British Empire]… They created a global computer, made up of people. It’s still withus today, its called the bureaucratic administrative machine. In order to have that machine running you needlots and lots of people. They made another machine to produce those people, the school. The schools wouldproduce the people who would then become parts of the bureaucratic administrative machine. They must beidentical to each other. They must know three things… [the 3 R’s - reading, writing and ‘rithmetic]. They mustbe so identical that you could pick one up from New Zealand, and ship them to Canada, and they would beinstantly functional… The Victorians… engineered a system that was so robust that it is still with us today.Continuously producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists… Schools as we know them noware obsolete… It’s not broken, it’s wonderfully constructed, it’s just that we don’t need it anymore. It’soutdated.” [14]“The problem is that the current system of education was designed and conceived and structured for adifferent age. It was conceived in the intellectual culture of the enlightenment and in the economiccircumstances of the industrial revolution… My view is that this model has caused chaos in many peoples lives.”[20]“The Elementary Education Act of 1870: Under the terms of the Act the curriculum of the elementary schoolswas designed to serve the twin criteria of social utility and cheapness of operation… It was in this climate thatone of the major educational controversies was played out. What form of drill should be adopted into thecurriculum – Military drill or physical exercises?” [16]“The 1905 Code of Regulations… encouraged the inclusion of organized games in elementary schools in theinterests of ‘esprit de corps, readiness to endure fatigue, to submit to discipline, and to subordinate one’s ownpowers and wishes to the common end’. It recommended football teams… as the means by which thosequalities could be promoted.” [16]The first Schools Football Association was set up in South London in 1885 [16] and The English Schools FootballAssociation, the governing body of schools football in England, was founded in 1904. Wikipedia
  4. 4. 4Schools are built around efficiency, predictability, control, and calculability“Good order and discipline were qualities most in demand by teachers facing large classes.” [16]Taken too far efficiency, predictability, control and calculability create formally rationalizedsystems, i.e. McDonadization [19]:“Efficiency, or the optimal method for getting from one point to another.” [19] Greaterefficiency means higher productivity and/or using fewer resources.“Predictability, the assurance that products and services will be the same over time and inall locales.” [19] Uniformity, conformity, reliability.“Control, is exerted over the people who enter the world of McDonald’s. Lines, limitedmenus, few options.” [19] Leave as little room for chance and choice as possible.“Calculability emphasizes the quantitative aspects of products… and services.” [19] Countingconcrete things like ‘touches and wins’ is one thing. Counting abstract concepts like the stepsin a process i.e. “learning a move” is something else. What, and how it gets counted mattersbecause, “What gets measured gets done,” - Peter Drucker.“We must look at McDonaldization as both “enabling” and “constraining.” McDonaldized[rationalized] systems enable us to do many things we were not able to do in the past;however, these systems also keep us from doing things we otherwise would do.McDonaldization is a “double-edged” phenomenon.” [19]Children tacitly learn order, regimentation, deference to authority and discipline through thecurriculum, structure, schedules and reward systems of compulsory standardized education.The same system their parents, coaches and most other adults went through. Thisrationalized systems perspective becomes the default starting point, the mindset, forevaluation and methodology for teaching in much of the soccer world.
  5. 5. 5The logical end point for McDonaldization – bureaucracies“In a rationalized society, people prefer to know what to expect in most settingsand at most times. They neither desire nor expect surprises.” [19]“German sociologist Max Weber… demonstrated in his research that the modern Westernworld had produced a distinctive kind of rationality… called formal rationality… According toWeber, formal rationality means that the search by people for the optimum means to a givenend is shaped by rules, regulations, and larger social structures… it allows individuals littlechoice of means to ends. In a formally rational system, virtually everyone can (or must) makethe same optimal choice.” [19]“In Weber’s view, bureaucracies are cages in the sense that people are trapped in them, theirbasic humanity denied… He anticipated a society of people locked into a series of rationalstructures, who could move only from one rational system to another – from rationalizededucational institutions to… rationalized recreational setting.” [19]Bureaucracies replace people with a label or role. Laura and Ben are seen as ‘student, teacher,players, coach, u10, central defenders’ and so on. This allows superiors to observe them asroles ‘doing what/where they should be’ instead of as people ‘doing what/where they reallyare.’ People are seen through the lens of idealized models of behavior.“The term ‘role’ does not depict a consciousness thinking, acting, reflecting. It usually impliesnorms, attributes, or functions of an occupation.” [15]
  6. 6. 6Bureaucracies are built through scientific management“Scientific management enters the workplace not as the representative of science, but as therepresentative of management masquerading in the trappings of science.” [5]“The managers assume… the burden of gathering together all of the traditional knowledgewhich in the past has been possessed by the workmen and then classifying, tabulating, andreducing this knowledge to rules, laws and formulae… All possible brain work should beremoved from the shop and centered in the planning or laying-out department,” FredrickTaylor. [5]“In effect then, Taylor separated “head” work from “hand” work; prior to Taylor’s day, theskilled worker performed both. Taylor and his followers studied what was in the heads of thoseskilled workers, then translated that knowledge into simple, mindless routines that virtuallyanyone could learn and follow. Workers were thus left with little more than repetitive “hand”work. This principle remains at the base of the movement to replace human with nonhumantechnology throughout our McDonaldizing society.” [19]“Repetitive labour – the doing of one thing over and over again and always in the same way – is aterrifying prospect to a certain kind of mind… The average worker, I am sorry to say, wants a job inwhich he does not have to think,” Henry Ford. [19]“Scattered craft knowledge is concentrated in the hands of the employer, then doled out againto the workers in the form of minute instructions needed to perform some part of what is nowa work process. This process replaces what was previously an integral activity, rooted in crafttradition and experience, animated by the worker’s own mental image of, and intentiontoward, the finished product.” [5]
  7. 7. 7The cost of school systems goes beyond the disaffected“That’s really the great mystery about bureaucracies. Why is it so often that the best people arestuck in the middle and the people who are running things—the leaders—are the mediocrities? [7]“When I first started teaching in the Ivy League I had very high expectations. These are thekids that are the cream of the crop of our educational system… these are the “smart kids…” Isoon saw some things that I didn’t expect. I noticed that my students could take any test andget an A… But anytime I gave them an unstructured assignment… they had great difficulty… Iwondered to myself, what were they doing in those years of their K-12 experience? What Icame to realize was that they were getting very good at doing school… they were full ofinformation… but they weren’t knowledge able… In a word, they couldn’t think. ” [2]Yale’s William Deresiewicz addressing the plebes at West Point in 2009; “We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth,earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we havebeen training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answerquestions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to setthem. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the firstplace. What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen, people whohave been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest inanything beyond their area of expertise. What we don’t have are leaders. What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. Peoplewho can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for theArmy—a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, withvision.” So what I saw around me were great kids who had been trained to be world-class hoopjumpers. Any goal you set them, they could achieve. Any test you gave them, they could passwith flying colors. They were, as one of them put it herself, ‘excellent sheep.’” [7]
  8. 8. 8When scientific management worked well in soccerLobanovskyi and Zelentsov at Dynamo Kyiv“Football, he explained, eventually became for him a system of twenty-two elements – two subsystems ofeleven elements – moving within a defined area… and subject to a series of restrictions… the subsystemswere subject to a peculiarity: the efficiency of the subsystem is greater than the sum of the efficiencies ofthe elements that comprise it… as Lobanovsky saw it… football was ripe for cybernetic techniques.” [31]“He saw a football team as a dynamic system, in which the aim was to produce the optimal level ofenergy in the optimal pattern.” [31]“Everything was meticulously planned… on the wall at Dynamo’s training base were hung lists of thedemands Lobanovskyi placed on players… fourteen defensive tasks… thirteen demands on forwards… Farmore radical was the list of twenty items… called ‘coalition actions.’ Lobanovskyi’s goal was what hetermed ‘universality’… If a midfielder has fulfilled sixty technical and tactical actions in the course of amatch, then he has not pulled his weight. He is obliged to do a hundred or more.” [31]“In my laboratory, we evaluate the functional readiness of players and how their potential can berealized…. And we influence players in a natural way – we form them following scientificrecommendations. With the help of modeling we assemble the bricks and create the skeleton of theteam… we justify it with numbers.” [31]Lobanovskyi and Zelentsov needed the Soviet culture, the rational bureaucratic mindsets, for their brandof scientific soccer. Note the spread of ‘Soviet think’ into current Western consumer culture;“In the 1950’s, sociologists started pointing out a basic resemblance between Soviet and Westernsocieties… Both were industrial, and had in common a growing separation of planning fromexecution… penetrating observers noted that it proceeded from the imperatives of rationaladministration… In the Soviet block… central control by the state; in the West, by corporations.” [5]
  9. 9. 9Learning curriculums deal with repair“The repairman has to begin each job by getting outside his own head and noticing things;he has to look carefully and listen to the ailing machine.” [5]“Fixing things, whether cars or human bodies, is very different from building things from scratch.The mechanic [player & coach] and the doctor deal with failure every day, whereas the builderdoes not. This is because the things they fix are not of their own making, and are thereforenever known in a comprehensive or absolute way.” [5]“Like building houses, mathematics is constructive; every element is fully within one’s view, andsubject to deliberate placement… By contrast, in diagnosing and fixing things made by others…one is confronted with obscurities, and must remain open to the signs by which they revealthemselves. This openness is incompatible with self-absorption; to maintain it we have to fightour tendency to get anchored in snap judgments… Getting it right demands that you beattentive in the way of a conversation rather than assertive in the way of a demonstration.” [5]“One was drawn out of oneself and into a struggle, by turns hateful and loving, with anotherthing that, like a mule, was emphatically not simply an extension of one’s will. Rather, one hadto conform one’s will and judgment to certain external facts of physics that still presentedthemselves as such. Old bikes don’t flatter you, they educate you… When your shin gets kicked,whether by a mule or a kick-starter, you get schooled.” [5]This perspective illustrates how Teambuilding is a misnomer. Even Alex Ferguson neverassembled a team like a piece of Ikea furniture. The parts would never quite fit together as hethought and there’s no users manual to refer to. He’s more of a tradesman at work, attentive,and feeling his way towards an uncertain end that will manifest itself in the world. This is whydeveloping fingerspitzengefühl is so important. The ‘feeling’ needs to be continually nurtured atevery level. Teaching curriculums rarely if ever deal with this type of learning. In learningcurriculums it’s an implicit part of every lesson.
  10. 10. 10Communities of practice – beyond teams and schools“Apprentices… must organize their own learning ‘curriculum’ and recruitteaching and guidance for themselves.” [12]“A community of practice is a set of relations among persons, activity, and world, over timeand in relation with other tangential and overlapping communities of practice. A communityof practice is an intrinsic condition for the existence of knowledge, not least because itprovides the interpretive support necessary for making sense… The social structure of thispractice, its power relations, and its conditions for legitimacy define possibilities forlearning.” [12]“The first requirement of educational design is to offer opportunities for engagement…participants in a community of practice contribute in a variety of interdependent ways thatbecome material for building an identity. What they learn is what allows them to contributeto the enterprise… and to engage with others around that enterprise… learning is in theservice of that engagement.” [30]“Rather than mistrusting social relationships and interests, as traditional learning institutionsoften do, a learning community incorporates them as essential ingredients in order tomaximize the engagement of its members. Building complex social relationships aroundmeaningful activities requires genuine practices in which taking charge of learning becomesthe enterprise of the community.” [30]The children, who are at the center of attention for the learning activities, are also some ofthe primary tools, resources and systems for enacting it. Their spontaneous interactionsprovide feedback about the structural organization set up by the coach.
  11. 11. 11Situated learning in communities of practice“The social and cultural situation of the teaching environmentcontributes significantly to what is learned and how learning takes place.” [10]“Situated learning has also emerged as a framework to theorize and analyze pedagogicalpractices in physical education… Individuals are considered part of a holistic learning enterprise,not as acting or participating in isolation. This view of a learning-centered curriculum moves theteacher off center stage and provides an opportunity for the student to help other studentslearn.” [10]The Mary argument illustrates the debate between ‘formal school’ and situated learning. “Thethought experiment was originally proposed by Frank Jackson as follows:” “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black andwhite room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision andacquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we seeripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, justwhich wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via thecentral nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that resultsin the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. [...] What will happen when Mary is released from herblack and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?” WikipediaParticipation and reification in communities of practice. For Mary action knowledge is gainedthrough participation; reification knowledge is gained through academic study, passiveobservation and reflection on experience. We need both types of knowledge and they areinterdependent. “Participation refers to a process of taking part and also the relations with others… It suggests bothaction and connection.” [30] Learn by doing, acting and sharing in both process and results. “The concept of reification… refers to the process of giving form to our experience by producing objectsthat congeal into ‘thingness.’ In so doing we create points of focus around which the negotiation ofmeaning becomes organized.” [30] Learn by observation, study and reflection.
  12. 12. 12Comparison of behavioral and decision training [27]“There are always students who have nothing to learn from the teacher or those who do not especiallywant to learn. All eventually agree very fast by refusing to actively engage in the learning activity.” [10]Behavioral training:Instruction Part-to-whole Simple to complex drills Easy-first instructions Technical emphasis Internal focus of instructionPractice Blocked practice Low variabilityFeedback Abundant coach feedback Low use of questioning Low athlete detection and correction oferrorsOverall: Low levels of athlete cognitiveeffort. [27]Decision training:Instruction Tactical whole training Competition like drills Hard-first instruction Technique within tactics External focus of instructionPractice Variable practice Random practiceFeedback Bandwidth feedback High use of questioning High athlete detection and correctionof errorsOverall: High levels of athlete cognitiveeffort [27]
  13. 13. 13Technical curriculums are built on behavioral models“It has been noted that one of the most prominent value orientations in the domain of physical education isdisciplinary or subject mastery, whereby practitioners attempt to teach perceptual motor skills through verbalexplanation, demonstration, practice drills, and simulated game play.” [4]The Mary argument about learning soccer – the KNVB [head work] and the Coerver School[hand work] debate. “Coerver has written his books from the point of view that a soccer player’s technique is thebasic measure of his value to his team and teammates… The Dutch Soccer Association doesnot share this belief. Wiel Coerver focuses solely on the mechanics of the various movementsand equates these with playing soccer itself… In short, Coerver says that players can bestlearn to play soccer by learning certain movements with the ball. The Dutch SoccerAssociation says that players can best learn soccer by playing soccer.” [26]“But why are teachers so technique oriented?Perhaps the answer lies in the development of the subject Physical Education and theresulting implications on the way teachers were trained. As the subject moved to degreestatus in the 60’s so courses such as Skill Acquisition and Measurement and Evaluation grewin importance. The problem with Skill Acquisition courses, at least in England, was that thedesire for experimental stringency meant that skills studied were rarely in a sport context.Add to this the desire to measure and evaluate our work objectively and the well recognizedfact that isolated techniques are so much easier to quantify than other aspects of thegames and it is easy to see how the Physical Educator was pulled toward the technical sideof games.In addition during methodology courses the search for a lesson plan which would ensure aclear and easily documented preparation procedure led to a format that divided lessons intoIntroductory Activity, Skill Phase and Game. In addition by guiding the teacher to identifyteaching points a ‘command’ or ‘task’ teaching style is encouraged.” [25]
  14. 14. 14Technical curriculums – blocked practice and behaviorismScientific management and behaviorism, McDonaldization shapes soccer training today“Our own research on professional practices in physical education shows that physicaleducation teachers, when teaching team sports, keep presenting their students with technicalsolutions to be reproduced or tactical principles to be applied rather than technical or tacticalproblems to be resolved… Some of the reasons for that may be the following: First, a majority of physical education teachers… were given a sports education in which theywere essentially taught the “do as I do” method. They then proceeded to apply this model intheir own professional practice.” Second, the little time devoted to physical education at school likely bears on pedagogicalchoices… given the time that they have at their disposal, they must proceed quickly. So assoon as students experience learning problems, they are [told] and shown what to do. [10]“Until the late 1970’s, most researchers in motor learning promoted the use of of behavioraltraining methods where athletes were trained using blocked repetitive practice. Duringblocked training, complex skills and tactics are broken down through a process called taskanalysis into countless subskills that are then trained using simple to complex progressions ofdrills.” [27]“This approach can be traced to a major school of psychology called behaviorism [theintellectual rational behind scientific management]… The laws of behaviorism state that aresponse will become habit as a consequence of the number of times it is paired orassociated with a given stimulus… When a behavioristic approach is used, the mind of theperformer is largely discounted as a factor in performance.” [27]
  15. 15. 15Learning curriculums are built on decision models“The coach must give space and time to his students todiscover the problems of the game situations by themselves.” [28]“Guiding Pedagogical principles of the Tactical-Decision Learning Model:” [10] The teacher or coach as a facilitator. Students are active learners. Students work in groups or modified games. Learning activities are interesting and challenging. Students are held accountable.Teaching Games for Understanding (The variation ‘Game Sense’ is used in Australia.) “The Teaching Games for Understanding approach to the teaching of sport/physical activity is a holisticmodel because it focuses attention on the individual and not with the sub set of activity specific skills forthe activity in focus. Learning skills of the game are placed in the broader context of the game itself.The nature of the game is taught first, and the skills are added at a pace manageable by theparticipants. By doing this, the thinking and problem solving aspects of the game are taught in tandemwith the skills. The result is a participant who is skilled in the broader sense of understanding the gamethan simply being skilful at the game.” [17]The Dutch Vision. [26] “Ideas used from street soccer were the foundations of the development of youth soccer and youthcoaching in a modern style. In the early 50s and 60s young players used to learn to play soccer in thestreets. They played before school, during the breaks, and after school. Every day, 6 or 7 days a week.Time was on their side. There were no adults, parents or coaches, involved in street soccer, exceptsometimes a bad neighbor or a policeman. All aspects of the game skill; technique, tactics and fitnessdeveloped by playing in simple situations, in which WINNING was very important.” [21]
  16. 16. 16The Dutch Vision – working in a structural and systemic fashion“A soccer coach coaches soccer, not something else.” Ab van de Velde“Many coaches find it difficult to work in a structural fashion with their team… To be able todo this, the coach must possess the theoretical knowledge of the football teambuildingprocess.” [13] “A lot of youth trainers still have the tendency to use different training exercises… Theyare afraid that their expertise is in doubt if they do not do it. A good youth trainer,composed in the art of letting his group perform the standard training activities asregards to the game form, however simplified, answers the challenge and the perceptionthe youth soccer player is looking for. Basic forms are a reflection of the ‘real’ soccermatch, whereby the youth players are confronted with opponents, teammates, goals,defined spaces, game rules, [a ball and a result – the product of the process] and stillnew options to find the solutions for more complex or simpler soccer situations! Therepetition of these basic forms is a golden rule for every youth training session.” [13]“There is no perfection in competitive soccer… However, structural teambuilding makes surethat: the players have confidence in each other, there is calmness in the game actions, theessential team spirit is present and team tactical views are present. These are the basicprerequisites for an optimal performance level.” [13]The coach creates the structure (command of the systems) through the elements of thegame; “opponents, teammates, goals, defined spaces, game rules,” a ball and a result. Theplayers work together (take systemic actions) to solve the problems they face. Bymanipulating the elements the coach can highlight any particular system (TIC, next slide) thathe or she likes in a holistic fashion. The game really does teach and the kids get a “kick in theshins” when their process comes up short of the desired product. Results matter, theyvalidate the legitimacy of their participation in the activity.
  17. 17. 17TIC, the systemic tool and measure in soccer“You have to have TIC to play soccer.” [26]“The elements on which the actual play is based, or rather the means by which the objective of thegame i.e. winning, can be achieved are summarized in the so called TIC principle. TIC stands for: [26]Technique: This encompasses the basic skills necessary to play the game. No matter how small children are, orhowever elementary the standard of play, the players possess a certain degree of technical skill.Insight: Insight into the game is necessary in order to understand what actions are appropriate or inappropriatein a given situation. Insight is largely a question of experience and soccer intelligence.Communication: Communication in this context refers to the interaction between the players and all the elementsinvolved in the game. This obviously covers communication with players of the same and the opposingteam (verbal and non-verbal) but also covers interaction with the ball… the field… the spectators… theofficials, the coach etc.” [26]“TIC covers all the attributes needed to play and to influence the game. An additional complicatingand influencing factor is the continual flux of these ingredients.” [26]To coach players one must read and influence their TIC while they play. The elements of TIC areviewed as being interdependent, open systems. They are not separated like in a technical model andcan’t be learned in isolation. It is distributed across the team through the interactions of the players.Certain combinations/systems may increase a players TIC while others degrade it. It is not a trait norindividual quality, it’s an emergent systemic property.
  18. 18. 18Communication – participation in a community of practice“Participation refers to a process of taking part and also the relations with others…It suggests both action and connection.” [30]“Every training session is a form of communication.” – Rinus Michels [13]“Communication in this context refers to the interaction between the players and all theelements involved in the game [the structure]. This obviously covers communication withplayers of the same and the opposing team (verbal and non-verbal) but also coversinteraction with the ball… the field… the spectators… the officials, the coach etc.” [26]There are three defined time frames to observe players communication: Pregame or session. How does the communication unfold, democratic or autocratic? Whatsthe plan? What factors does the team take into account? How fast can they get it together?Pay attention, listen and take mental notes. Guide as a leader, not as a manager. During the game or session. Is anyone held accountable? By who? How close to the plan isthe team playing? Do they make appropriate adjustments when necessary? How quickly?Make mental notes, keep details of changes, significant events and ‘friction points’ in mind. Post game or session. This is the time when players need to reflect and the coach can accessreal world events. Memories are fresh, emotions maybe raw and the participants are present.Conduct AAR’s until the players can do it themselves. This requires a lot of experience andtrust between the players and coach.“The after action review (AAR), built around four questions: What did we set out to do? What actually happened? Why did it happen? What are we going to do next time?” [29]
  19. 19. 19Insight – when “thingness” rises to the level of attention“The power to spot leverage points.” [10]“The concept of reification… refers to the process of giving form to our experience byproducing objects that congeal into ‘thingness.’ In so doing we create points of focusaround which the negotiation of meaning becomes organized.” [30]“Insight into the game is necessary in order to understand what actions are appropriate orinappropriate in a given situation. Insight is largely a question of experience and soccerintelligence.” [26]“Leverage points are just possibilities – pressure points that might lead to something useful,or might go nowhere.” [11]“Leverage points provide fragmentary action sequences, kernel ideas, and procedures forformulating a solution. Experts seem to have a larger stock of procedures that they canthink of… Novices, in contrast, are often at a loss about where to begin.” [11]“Military commanders also need to detect leverage points. They need to find ways to exploitenemy weaknesses and to detect signs that an adversary is preparing to do the same tothem.” [11]Leverage points are the “thingness” that gets attention, the ‘what’s’ in participation asopposed to the ‘hows. What was that? What does it mean? What do I do? What are wedoing? What were you thinking? They can be understood as rational thoughts i.e. ‘free kick’or as emotional, gut feelings i.e. this is ‘good/not good’.
  20. 20. 20Creating identities, going beyond roles“Rather than a teacher/learner dyad, this points to a richly diverse field ofessential actors and, with it, other forms of relationships of participation.” [12]“Building an identity consists of negotiating the meanings of our experience of membershipin social communities. The concept of identity serves as a pivot point between the socialand the individual, so that each can be talked about in terms of the other.” [30]“To make sense of… identity formation and learning, it is useful to consider three distinctmodes of belonging;engagement – active involvement in mutual processes of negotiation of meaning.imagination – creating images of the world and seeing connections through time and spaceby extrapolating from our own experience.alignment – [harmonizing] our energy and activities in order to fit within… and contribute tobroader structures.” [30]“Identity in practice arises out of an interplay of participation and reification. As such, it isnot an object, but a constant becoming… Identity is not some primordial core of personalitythat already exists. Nor is it something that we acquire at some point… As we go through asuccession of forms of participation, our identities form trajectories, both within and acrosscommunities of practice.” [30]“Activities, tasks, functions and understandings do not exist in isolation. They are part ofbroader systems of relations… The person is defined by as well as defines these relations.Learning thus implies becoming a different person with respect to the possibilities enabledby these systems of relations. To ignore this aspect of learning… is to overlook… theconstruction of identities.” [12]
  21. 21. 21Work or play, how do you make progress in learning?“Play is intrinsically motivated, except if you don’t do what the others tell you,they won’t let you play.” [24]“The playful aspect also constitutes an important dimension. Indeed, one of the mainfunctions of games in childhood is to develop a child’s sense of identity and selfaccomplishment. Nevertheless, a primary objective for a teacher is to create an instructionalsetting that will include a rapport of strength within a problem-solving environment.” [10]“Children’s own spontaneous play is still thought to be fairly useless by many educators andmost parents who pursue the rhetoric of progress. Of all the rhetorics, progress is the mostexplicit in terms of hegemony, and the organization of children’s play in terms of theeducational and psychological beliefs of adults… The very point of the progress rhetoric hasbeen to constrain child play in the service of growth, education, and progress… Most adultsshow great anxiety and fear that children’s play behavior, if not rationalized… will escapetheir control and become frivolous and irrational… Treating… play as frivolous… illustratesand adds momentum to the idea that adults should organize the kind of play through whichchildren are believed to develop properly.” [24]“Typically the work ethic view of play rests on making an absolutely fundamental distinctionbetween play and work. Work is obligatory, serious, and not fun, and play is the opposite ofthese. This distinction, while influenced by the Protestant religion, derives its major impetusfrom the urban industrial view of time and work… Play [is seen] as a waste of time, asidleness, as triviality, and as frivolity.” [24]
  22. 22. 22Legitimate participation in communities of practice“The task for the novice is to learn to organize his own behaviorsuch that it produces a competent performance.” [12]“Football players know that there is a certain ranking within a team [the pecking order].The players who are at the bottom of the ladder usually accept this. The coach has to bealert to those players who are almost at the top of the hierarchy. For them there will alwayscome a day that they feel it is their turn to be on top of the food chain… The ranking in theteam is not a constant factor… you can recognize the… conflict when watching the game.” –Rinus Michels [13]“A newcomer’s [or players lower on the pecking order] tasks are short and simple, the costof errors small… A newcomer’s tasks tend to be positioned at the ends of the branches ofwork processes, rather than in the middle of linked work segments… As opportunities forunderstanding how well or poorly one’s efforts contribute are evident in practice, legitimateparticipation… provides an immediate ground for self evaluation.” [12]Legitimate participation includes the notion of a centripetal force. In soccer these are the ongoing negotiations of Einheit, Schwerpunkt and Auftragstaktik in the team or organization.In these negotiations, identity matters. It shapes, and is shaped by these negotiations,ultimately determining the pecking order and authority structures for the next round. Anever ending process it is often not a smooth ride as people jockey for power: “I have argued that communities of practice are not havens of peace and and that theirevolution involves politics of both participation and reification. Generational [and talent]differences add an edge to these politics by including distinct perspectives… to bear on thehistory of the practice. The working out of these perspectives involves a dynamics ofcontinuity and discontinuity that propels the practice forward.” [30]
  23. 23. 23Summary“What the hell is going on? Is this our society as a whole,buying more education only to scale new heights of stupidity?” [5]Communities of practice should not be thought of as some new age, feel-good, everybody is a winnermodel for learning. In fact, it is the opposite of that. If your not good enough, get out - go home. Thisis, at least partly, the antidote for one of youth soccer’s biggest problems; a lack of physical, mentaland moral commitment to anything beyond immediate self gratification. In CoP’s, standards areexternal, the measures cannot be denied, dismissed and what one thinks is of no importance. Productmatters just as much as process. “The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have beenknown to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chatteringinterpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car nowruns, the lights are on. Boasting is what a boy does, because he has no real effect in the world. But thetradesman must reckon with the infallible judgment of reality, where one’s failures or shortcomingscannot be interpreted away. His well-founded pride is far from the gratuitous “self-esteem” thateducators would impart to students, as though by magic.” [5]This false sense of self is, at least in part, built up and encouraged in a rationalized, consumereconomy where happiness and success comes with a price tag and a guarantee. “In any hard discipline, whether it is gardening, structural engineering, or [soccer] one submits to thingsthat have their own intractable ways. Such hardness is at odds with the underlying ontology ofconsumerism… The modern personality is being reorganized on a predicate of passive consumption, andit starts early in life… The consumer is left with a mere decision. Since this decision takes place in aplayground-safe field of options, the only concern it elicits is personal preference.” [5]Identity as an individual in a group is important. It matters and it’s learned in CoP’s. It cannot betaught like a subject in school. Such a belief that everythings for everyone is illogical. “It seemsillegitimate to give rank its due in a society where “all children are above average,” As Garrison Keillorsays of Lake Woebegon.” [5]
  24. 24. 24Selected referencesSeveral years ago I remarked to a top KNVB coach that “the Dutch Vision is a system that’s not a system.”His reply, “it’s not a system at all, it’s a way of thinking.” Yours truly1. BOYD, J. 1976, Destruction and Creation(http://pogoarchives.org/m/dni/john_boyd_compendium/destruction_and_creation.pdf)2. CABRERA, D. Dec. 6, 2011, How Thinking Works (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUqRTWCdXt4)3. CHRISTENSEN, M. LAURSEN, D. SORENSEN, J. 2011, Situated Learning in Youth Elite Football: a Danish case studyamong talented male under-18 football players (Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Vol. 16, No.2, 163-178)4. CHOW, J. et al. 2007 The Role of Nonlinear Pedagogy in Physical Education (Review of Educational Research 2007,Vol. 77, No. 3, 251-278)5. CRAWFORD, M. 2009, Shop Class as Soulcraft, An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, (New York: Penguin Books)6. CRAWFORD, M. May 16, 2011, Manual Competence (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdGky1JZovg)7. DERESIEWICZ, W. 2010, Solitude and Leadership (The American Scholar, March 2010)8. GATTO, J. 2010, Weapons of Mass Instruction, A School Teachers Journey Through the Dark World of CompulsorySchooling (Gabriola Island, B.C: New Society Publishers)9. GOFFMAN, E. 1959, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (New York: Anchor Books)10. GREHAIGNE, J-F. RICHARD, J-F. GRIFFIN, L. 2005, Teaching and Learning, Team Games and Sports (London:Routledge)11. KLEIN, G. 1998, Sources of Power, How People Make Decisions (Cambridge, Ma: MIT Press)12. LAVE, J. & WENGER, E. 1991, Situated Learning, Legitimate Peripheral Practice (New York: Cambridge UniversityPress)13. MICHELS, R. 2001, Teambuilding, The Road to Success (Spring City, Pa: Reedswain)14. MITRA, S. Feb. 27, 2013 Build a School in the Clouds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3jYVe1RGaU)15. PAGET, M. 2004, The Unity of Mistakes (Philadelphia, Pa: Temple University Press)16. PENN, A 1999, Targeting Schools, Drill, Militarism and Imperialism (London: Woburn Press)17. PILL, S. May 13, 2013, Teaching Games for Understanding, Australian Council for Health, Physical Education andRecreation (http://www.ausport.gov.au/sportscoachmag/coaching_processes/teaching_games_for_understanding)18. RICHARDS, C. 2004, Certain to Win, The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business (Xlibris Corporation)19. RITZER, G. 2008, The McDonaldization of Society 5 (Thousand Oaks Ca: Pine Oaks Press)
  25. 25. 25Selected referencesSeveral years ago I remarked to a top KNVB coach that “the Dutch Vision is a system that’s not a system.”His reply, “it’s not a system at all, it’s a way of thinking.” Yours truly20. ROBINSON, K. Oct. 14, 2010, Changing Education Paradigms (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U)21. ROYAL DUTCH SOCCER FEDERATION, July 2001, The Dutch Vision on Youth Soccer (KNVB-Holland P.O. Box 5153700 AM Zeist, Holland)22. ROWE, M. May 23, 2011 Mike Rowe testifies before the US Senate about skilled trades(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC0JPs-rcF0)23. SKINNER, B.F. 1971, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (New York: Bantum Books)24. SUTTON-SMITH, B. 1997, The Ambiguity of Play (Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press)25. THORPE, R. BUNKER, D. ALMOND, L. 1986, Rethinking Games Teaching, (Loughborough University: www.tgfu.org)26. VAN LINGEN, B. 1997, Coaching Soccer, The Official Coaching Book of the Dutch Soccer Association (Spring City, Pa:Reedswain)27. VICKERS, J. 2007, Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training, The Quiet Eye in Action (Champaign, Il: HumanKinetics)28. WEIN, H. 2004, Developing Game Intelligence in Soccer (Spring City, Pa: Reedswain)29. WEICK, K. SUTCLIFFE, K. 2007, Managing the Unexpected, Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty, (SanFrancisco, Ca: John Wiley & Sons, Inc).30. WENGER, E. 1998, Communities of Practice, Learning, Meaning, and Identity (New York: Cambridge University Press)31. WILSON, J. 2008, Inverting the Pyramid, A History of Football Tactics (Great Britain: Clays Limited)32. WORTHINGTON, E. 1974, Learning and Teaching Soccer Skills (North Hollywood, Ca: Hal Leighton Printing)33. ZEIGLER, E. 2005, History and Status of American Physical Education and Educational Sport (Victoria, B.C: TraffordPublishing)
  26. 26. 26Thank you“I’ll live or die by my own ideas.” Johan CruyffPresentation created May 2013 by Larry Paul, Peoria Arizona.All references are available as stated.All content is the responsibility of the author.For questions you can contact me at; larry4v4@hotmail.com - subject line, decision/actionmodel.For more information visit the bettersoccermorefun channel on YouTube or the otherDecision/action pdf’s on Slideshare.