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

Consider the idea of a teaching to better inform the practice and future of your own and peers’ efforts with learners…

The thing with coaching in particular it seems, is that national sports organisations promote amazing ideas like, 'You must have a coaching philosophy'. However when the rubber hits the road, many are not good at saying 'why' and certainly don't show you 'how'. I can provide some of my feedback to AFL for example on this in my Level 2 a couple of years ago. but I’m sure it’s an Australia wide thing. Once again, even more strange is that most ‘levels’ and educational interventions like devising a teaching philosophy are aimed at 'elite' or 'sub-elite' environments…

In any case a reminder: coach ‘development’ isn’t working (here he goes again…). For example, Games-Based Approaches (GBAs) in sport and PE have been around for 50 years as a way of orientating learning activities in performance like environments. GBAs have been promoted too as an alternative to the 'skill and drill' methods that are certainly dominant in Australia and many other nations. In any case, many of us who know a little bit but devote OUR energy at the 'Grassroots' know 'alternative pedagogy', that is student centred and NOT 'one size fits all' has struggled to get any footing. It’s a point I constantly try to make like below with great teaching peer Dale Sidebottom: when are you going to show coaches HOW again???

Which leads me to the focus of this blog… The best thing I saw on social media yesterday was the below from my Welsh rugby coaching peer, Nathan Gosling. Nathan is a supreme operator and PE teacher/coach with amazing experience who walks the ‘talk’. However, interestingly ‘philosophy’ was part of a current job application. He of course took it to the next level!!! Fingers and toes are indeed crossed that you got this mate and thanks for helping us out as fellow learners.

I’m looking forward to meeting Nathan face to face when I and Dale Sidebottom ‘tour’ (or learn with peers) in UK and Ireland in September this year However, knowing a bit through our digital opportunities nowadays, it’s clear that Nathan is a lifelong learner who is deeply reflective. How lucky are the people coached/taught by him? AND, as teachers of experience will tell you, this philosophy ‘thingo’ changes constantly if you continue to improve.

YET once again, I’m just ‘telling’ you this… How are we going to do the HOW?

Here is a little bit of help from old Gunny… Feel free to email me (or other forms of messaging) any responses or thoughts too on contacts below.

REFLECTION for your beginning coaches or experienced peers who want a ‘nudge’:

What has been an educational learning/defining coaching/teaching moment for you in your life?

Describe for me why this was so powerful (negative or positive).

How has it affected your teaching/coaching philosophy?

Why is coaching and teaching important to you?

This is a start only anyway, and you can find a ‘guided reflection’ around this in ‘Grassroots Coaching and Consulting’ Facebook group (not the page) in files section. Feel free to join nearly 550 coaches from all sports, contexts and continents looking to give back to volunteers!!! Just like Nathan Gosling.

Yours in learning,


By the way, Gunny and Dale Sidebottom are coming to UK and Ireland in September: 

email: (September UK and Ireland tour of learning 2019)

Again learning peers, I’m Gunny.  If you want these Blog Posts to your inbox send me a personal email on address above or other, and, I’ll start compiling an all-important ‘list’.

The HOW (not WHAT) of coaching can be found at the ‘Gunn Engagement’ YouTube channel:   


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Finally, “Kids learn teacher NOT subjects!”