G’Day ‘learners’.

Today’s blog will help sports coaches (and all caring adult stakeholders) to:

Consider the idea of using ‘scaffolding’ to better inform the practice and future of your own and peers’ efforts with learners…

Watch the vision below. What’s going on? It depends on the learning intentions… Are the WARRIORS having any success? It depends on the quality of the experience you don’t see… Is that bloke a madman? It depends whom you ask…

Psst… I’m aware that I am bombarding you with ‘please subscribe’ to GUNN ENGAGEMENT YouTube channel messages. THUS please DO NOT subscribe. Indeed NEVER EVER contact me or try and learn from any of my years of free helpful experience!

Dear readers,

Some peers have recently gone all Vygotzky on us through a focus on the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) for learners. Find respective work of Jonny McMurtry and Coach Reed Maltbie below:

Psst… Please contact them BUT never EVER learn from me!

ZPD is, “the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help” (Source: - accessed TODAY).

Those that spruik, “the game is ‘the’ teacher”, I’d guess need to rethink. Uncle Gunny or Uncle Lev Vygotzky say: the game is but ‘a’ teacher NOT ‘the teacher, AND, don’t worry, I’ve had ‘elite’ or professional ‘on TV’ type coaches say stuff like the former. Take this for example…

Pro COACH: Gunny we (his very large squad of players) don’t work on (that skill).

Gunny: Why?

Pro: That comes implicitly.

Gunny: (walking away in mild disbelief mumbling) But… but… that’s not teaching.

I am on a mission to support the work of people like Robyn Jones ( 2009) to remind coaches that they are ‘teachers’. Check my previous post including a bloke called Wooden who thought the same thing. Indeed I reckon Coach Reed who is a fellow ‘chalk launcher’ is doing the same thing.

Please don’t get me wrong, coaching is not easy! However, we and our future as a nation let alone the WORLD need coaches because teachers aren’t coaching like they once did. As well, amazing generalist primary school teachers teaching PE/Sports like they once did. Thus it’s up to you now pedagogical peers to help support our youth and volunteer coaches.
The great Coach Reed from 11:11 in of above presented podcast episode gives examples of scaffolding (stepped support), that allows coaches to support our young people through problem solving that Vygotzky or Socrates would be proud of. Sport Australia is also full of support like this: Yes, we are still leading the World on paper. Have a look around yourselves.
In any case, here are some examples of ‘teaching’ using various scaffolds rather than verbal instructions and repetitive isolated drilling:

1) Instead of saying or visually and statically demonstrating “toes up” in sprinting, get this happening ‘implicitly’ from a skipping rope

2) Instead of asking and showing rugby players to wrap and squeeze in tackling, get them to practice tackling with two tennis balls in their hands

3) (Will stop using the ‘traditional’ former now) use analogies for shape and body height in rugby union clean out preparation via “gorillas”

4) Use the ‘count down’ like the first MAD bloke to put players under cognitive, temporal and physiological pressure

5) Get players to listen for sounds and feel ‘contact’ with implements

6) Get the smart phones out and get pairs coaching each other etc etc

7-25,000,000 plus just teach!!!

However, just like the bloke below says, drills are ok BUT we overuse them in this country. However, the game is BUT ‘a’ teacher only.

Yours in learning (don’t contact me hahaaa…),


Coach Gunny analyses the over-use of lines and drills!