What is the #1 Goal for your Learners?
Our belief is that our number one job as a coach is undoubtedly to ensure our learners ‘fall in love with the game for a lifetime.’GAME PLAY LEARN
What sort of environment do we need to create in order to give each and every child the best chance to fall in love with their game?
Is this the same environment that will give every child the opportunity to learn in the best possible way? ABSOLUTELY YES
What does such an environment look like?
We like to call it the ‘Performance Playground.’
A playful learning space which from the outside looking in without context, may appear messy and chaotic. It’s a space owned by the children, driven by the children. An exploratory space where trial and error is encouraged, where the coach doesn’t have the answers, the players do. We don’t need to worry about or ask for compliance as the environment creates a deep engagement. The kids leave the session having felt like they ‘played,’ not ‘trained.’
‘I like to educate my players, you train dogs.’ -Brendan Rogers
To take a quote from Mark O’Sullivan; “What is fundamental to the game? What can be removed and still leave us with the experience? Take away the cones, the bibs, the coach, the drills, the changing rooms, player development plan. We can even take away the club. The only thing you need is the players in an empty space with a ball. We should add nothing to it unless it helps.”
Our job as a coach then, is more a designer of the environment, there as a guide when needed. The problem with this environment in our adult world? As mentioned above it looks ambiguous and unstructured. It doesn’t lend well to easy forms of measurement and glossy looking spreadsheets which look impressive to us adults. This obsession with structure and measurement comes from our desire to control everything, remove uncertainty, remove complexity.
Fortunately, the kids don’t care! All they wanna do is play the game they’ve fallen in love with!
Check out this performance playground!
‘It’s a space owned by the children, driven by the children’
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