This article was written by Megan McCormick, Rush Soccer’s Coach Education Consultant and Lead on the Rush Female Coaches Alliance.
As coaches, we recognize the importance of designing activities that replicate the game and “paint pictures” to help players translate technical skills into well timed actions on the field. I would propose that the planning of “the conversation” between coach and players throughout the session is of equal value. Updated coaching education programs have introduced us to guided discovery and the use of questions to share our coaching points. However, the skill (or lack thereof) of crafting and asking questions can dramatically increase (or decrease) player engagement. If we are interested in putting the player at the center of the session, it’s time we all revisit the way we use questions.
Education expert, Doug Lemov, skillfully explains how to harness the power of questions to increase engagement (and learning) during a session. His blog post on the subject is well worth the 7 minutes of your time.
The video Lemov highlights in the post above shows a coach well versed in using questions to keep players highly engaged. He is also a coach who clearly planned the questions he would ask and participation techniques he would employ. The goal is to have EVERY player in the session thinking deeply about EVERY question you ask as a coach. A loft goal to be sure but one well within our grasp with the right techniques. The chart below can serve as an introduction to some easy ways to implement these ideas into your own sessions. I would encourage you to choose one or two and give them a try this week in training.
Click HERE to Download the Full Scale Chart.