GUNN TIPS FOR COACHES #1 - 365 DAY PROJECT 2019/20 - Gunn Engagement

G’Day learning peers. This is what I do:

Welcome to the ‘Gunn Engagement - 365 Day Sharing Project’! This is a daily reflective piece for teachers/coaches of all movement contexts.  It is designed to increase confidence and ability for managing the learning of unique individuals.  

I’m Gunny (Coach Gunny/Craig Gunn) an experienced educator and I have a particular ‘calling’ to support those at the grassroots/foundation/community level.  I thought I better tell you a little bit about this ‘project’. 

Up until recently, I gave away teaching/coaching expertise for free.  “Grassroots Coaching and Consulting” Facebook group (not the page) is once such community resource that gathers coaching/teaching brains from around the world.  It began less than 17 months ago and now has 527 members from every continent and most sports:

“Grassroots Coaching and Consulting” FaceBook group for volunteers and experienced sharing learners.

“Grassroots Coaching and Consulting” FaceBook group for volunteers and experienced sharing learners.

Please feel free to join us.  We’re practical, warm and engaging, but also a little more generalist for people who are often given a bag of balls as volunteer ‘coach’ and are trying to navigate what it means to be a teacher!  I decided to create “Grassroots” but it’s nobody’s ‘baby’ as we are dedicated to learners in our charge. 

From here I’m sharing this ‘Gunn Engagement - 365 Day Sharing Project’ to further support communities of educators, sharing about how to best engage learners in the work of movement.

 A few things for you to know in this first post:

 The first is that I specialise in ‘learners’ and NOT sport. I actually have educated in every context and coached/taught many, many thousands of students and lessons.

The second, I’m always learning as a role-model.  Indeed, some of my post-graduate study has been on professional learning communities. As well, since 2016, I’ve gone from a flip-top phone called a ‘Doro’ to expanding my network through social media.  This is important as I was still handing out my land-line number in 2015…  

Thus these reflections bring some of that vulnerability and knowledge into creating a good sharing experience for you, my fellow learning peers.

The third thing to know is that I’m going to try to keep these posts relatively short (in Gunny terms). As in, two and a half to three A4 pages of ‘text’ (12 font Calibri). You and I know, that one of the challenges of coach development since the invention of YouTube has been the inundation of information over time. Thus my aim is to keep it at a reasonable length and ask questions so ‘volunteer’ or ‘pro’ coaches can squeeze them into their professional lives.  You may be surprised what pops up in your daily walk or drive…

Finally and most importantly, anyone who knows me well, knows that I don’t like ‘talking myself up’… BUT I think the ‘365’ will be practical and packed with tips that you can use as well.

To begin with considering this query by an experienced coach recently in a coaching forum I am a member of called ‘Coach Logic’ (costs me about $5 Aussie every month

“Hi all, quick and simple one. I am doing a season review meeting with the rest of my coaching group for an under 16’s team.

Any tips on how I encourage the other coaches on defining success outside of simply “we didn’t win the league and therefore the season is a failure” which is what I’m going to get from a few of them.

I define success on the fun the lads have had and the learning and development they have enjoyed plus they scored over 500 points this year which is amazing!

How do I change the other coaches thinking?”


Gunny response (in itallics):

 G'Day _____

Start with what you said: "I define success on the fun the lads have had and the learning and development they have enjoyed."
Learning is hard to see even in MRIs...

By the way, Gunny and Dale Sidebottom are coming to UK and Ireland in September. I'm on a roll here so ask:

 1) What changes in player, club and coach behaviour have occurred?

2) How has this helped motivation of all stakeholders?

3) What factors showed up in thebuild to the ‘500’ = knowledge, skills etc?

4) What have you as a coaching team done to MODEL or explicitly teach, or grow this all? EG. If you have followed the problem solving/guided discovery of ‘Magic Academy’ and or England Rugby’s ‘CARDS’ etc, How was this different to traditional "Lines, Laps and Lectures”?

5) Look up Kolb's work on reflection! Plenty of stuff here to incorporate.

6) List many of the different learning strategies as a coaching group brain dump and then use these sub-questions to scaffold:

a) What was new?

b) How did we solve problems?

c) Where are our next opportunities?

d) When did we use games to explore?

e) How did we get players to reflect?

f) What were some missed opportunities?

g) When was it player led?

 Love learning,


 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:   


To correspond on today’s post, provide discussion guidance, or ask questions that can be used in future posts, connect with me on:

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If you find the ‘Gunn Engagement - 365 Day Sharing Project’ to be a supportive resource, please consider sharing with your friends and network—again, don’t forget to subscribe to the email list or YouTube channel and again tell your friends and colleagues.  ‘Word of mouth’ is still my preferred advertising!

‘Gunn Engagement - 365 Day Sharing Project’ was brought to you by, me Gunny, and superior learning vision is curated by my partner in learning Anthony O’Brien of AOB Media,

 Of course learn more about my work or how to hire me as a consultant, facilitator, or speaker, through 0431311070. 

 Finally, “Kids learn teacher NOT subjects!”

Yours in learning,