Thursday, 21 October 2010

Game Sense 2

There were some interesting comments on my little piece about proposals to remove contact from Under9s rugby.

One school of thought appears to be that removing contact will force bigger, slower kids out of the game. Another is that what is needed is for kids to be properly coached.

The problem is that one assumes that the only role for bigger, slower kids is to smash through opposition, while the other assumes (I think) that showing or telling kids what to do is the answer.

The whole purpose of 'Game Sense', as I understand it, is that you provide kids with an environment in which they solve problems for themselves and the idea of removing contact is designed only to encourage kids to work out another way of playing.

Now, admittedly, I'm no coach so I could well be talking out of my arse (it has been known) but here's an example of what I mean...

My 7 year old son plays football (and I have yet to disown him). Generally speaking, 7 year old footballers like to run with the ball, tackle and shoot, so in an inspired move earlier this year their coach introduced a practice match in which dribbling, tackling and shooting were not allowed. The result was that the boys passed, moved, passed, moved, get the picture. The great thing was that they weren't told to do it, they just worked it out. So, my son's team may not have fantastic individual players who can beat half a team on their own but they all now pass the ball bloody well.


GazP said...

All of this informed debate is all very interesting but can we get back to following Mr Church otherwise someone will think this is a serious rugby blog:-)

Total Flanker said...

GazP = you're right of course - what was I thinking?!!!