G’Day ‘learners’.

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

Consider the idea of cultural behaviour change to better inform the practice and future of your own and peers’ efforts with learners…

Watch, share and subscribe to ‘Gunn Engagement’ YouTube OR Facebook Pages for more!!!

Fortnite is not the enemy! Bad coaching is… HOWEVER, what if I told you that in my country at least the heads of the big sports admit this regularly to my face around drop-out???

In any case, I am behind in the 'Blogging’ project and looking to catch up this weekend... Feel free to 'unfollow' or 'unfriend' me 'friends' BUT I think sports coaches can still change the WORLD! However once again, we face massive cultural barriers that I have listed over and over and over in many forums over many years. Luckily, people listen to Wayne Goldsmith. At the other end of the spectrum there’s Gunny and “He’s mad!”

THUS I say: I agree with Wayne’s thoughts and love the Irish Examiner.  Yet I have seen this shared so many times on socilals AND am left asking what are we gonna DO???

I am getting tired of TALKING and REFLECTING on this drop-out because of poor coaching thing…

Can any great teachers please SHOW the alternatives to drills??? I am not talking 'CARDS’ stuff so great in English Rugby. That is WHAT. We need a lot more HOW…

In any case Wayne is a great human! This is enough. Could be the main point?   

I do DRILLS but... called "Gunny Madness" in my country. They are game like etc... The Australian Sports Commission has been promoting a thing called ‘Game Sense’ in coaching since 1995. YET nothing has really changed as I have written about or presented at ACHPER conferences and the like. THUS, what Wayne and many of us are agitating for is putting the foot forward to change culture!  

I don’t want to sound negative, and of course I have been accused of sports corporation bashing constantly. I am all and i mean ALL for this CHANGE... HOWEVER, the time for action is now!!!.

To me it seems that the Goldsmith piece has been SHARED by many in sports corporations just to increase Facebook, YouTube etc etc likes… Speaking of which this is how Gunny coaches so so so differently to Australian Football’s cultural tradition.

NOW, we must remember that research is DONE with ELITE and paid for by ELITE...  It will be soon. or right NOW, too late for Grassroots...  CULTURAL change is HARD!!!

I SHOW volunteers how to DO it all thanks to a ‘lightbulb moment’ at a sports collective Forum I conceived and helped run last year at Australian Catholic University. An old school mate whose rugby team I played in said, “How does it feel to be doing the Australian Sports Commission’s job Gunny?” The point is that they aren’t doing it and this cultural thing is very complex.

NOW I have vast coaching and PE teaching experience. I have also lectured/taught at university for 10 years but that’s all ‘blah...’ . You see, I would create whole university subjects that taught alternatives to drills, plus, making drills messy (or game like), through SEPEP, Game Sense, TGfU, TGM, CLA etc etc... Then I would go to schools and see 200 maybe students on ‘practicum’. ONE brave and brilliant teacher was the only one who demonstrated ‘alternatives’ to dominant cultural practices. Here’s to you Mr. Nick Toohey now a PE teacher on Brisbane’s northside. YOU were the only one kind sir…

YOU SEE, they all default to drills because that’s the cultural tradition (see reserach from, SueSee, Edwards, Hewitt, Pill etc). YET generally, their mentors were great humans!!! BUT the culture is set. HOWEVER, once again PE teachers can do drills and control chaos enough so that there is far more maximal movement. BUT still not enough...

There is a small growth in ‘awareness’ of alternatives. HOWEVER, there is much more after that required. In any case, “Gunn Engagement” YouTube channel is a place to start. I reiterate how the Australian Sports Commission once taught all of this. NOW though the sports who are responsible just certify rather than develop coaches.  

BUT even before all of this amazing stuff you ELITE coaches did last night in your sessions in this ‘new’ ecological or other approach, is more work to be done. I believe you may already be are a VERY entertaining and engaging coach. Yet, YOUR context is easy!!! I wil say it again: EASY! You could line them up and keep them happy because they are probably keen athletes anyway, PLUS, due to the professional support you may have the skills to manage a group of 30 with balls between two. THEY love you and you them. That is key! It’s easy for YOU at ELITE!

YET you ELITE can still get better. After filming yourself for coach development (no. 1 ‘no brainer’ for an experienced coach in talent area) Gunny’s number two tip is to go and watch a primary school PE teacher. You will learn plenty!!! I have told plenty like great peer Stuart Armstrong that that’s the missing piece. Controlling the chaos!

To make any real CHANGE we need our best coaches at Grassroots etc. It ain’t gonna happen... Some American PE teaching geniuses could show us all HOW: Pangrazi, Rink, Seidentop etc... I say, blow the dust off the texts and find the gold in the ‘operational’ part of pedagogy.

Happy to come and share with coaches but ! provide the “Gunn Engagement” YouTube channel which has videos where I am starting to SHOW all of this etc.

BUT back to the great teachers of our past like WOODEN??? LOVE! That ain’t a gimmick. His coaching was incredible as it was but LOVE was the foundation. NOW it’s hard to get volunteers to do this when kids are running wild!!! THUS they default to line ups!!! BUT I am talking here only (or writing) not SHOWING. Hope it makes sense…

Let me finish with an illustration. This week and next I am in Melbourne learning more about AFL. I talked on the phone to one of the heads at BIG AFL club. I was offered a coffee…

Gunny: Please take no offence. I worked in academia for 10 years. They TALK and I am done with that. We need ACTION. I am experienced but this means nothing until I feel your context side by side as fellow learners. I can’t TELL you about my work. I must SHOW you so you FEEL it.

That meeting has to be rescheduled. YET two amazing female PE teachers and senior AFL coaches had the same conversation with me. They GOT IT!!! Thus I’m looking forward to learning side by side with them on the grass oval. That’s SHOWING and FEELING not TELLING.

THUS in Australia at least, we are in a world of hurt. One of our biggest sports NRL changed some rules for youngsters to make things safer. My club’s numbers are down BUT not sure why. Will other sports follow? I am not sure… Actually probably not. THERFORE we are ‘aware’ that things might need to change, well some of us are anyway… Are the rest of us MOTIVATED? I think not… In any case, some of us are trying to fill in the gaps with the missing tools for the ‘toolbox’.

Yours in learning,