COED 6110 – Foundations for Sport Coaching I

This course presents content in three major domains that are tied directly to the National Standards for Sport Coaches. Coaches will have an opportunity to develop content knowledge in growth and development, teaching and communication and sport skills and tactics. Additionally, students will be able to explore concepts related to “what coaches do” and the qualities of effective coaches. The course will present foundational information that can be built upon in future courses.

For this class, one of the things we were required to do was to explain how the Guided Discovery method works and how we would utilize it with our athletes.

Guided Discovery is an effective teaching method. Explain how this methods works and how you would utilize it with your athletes. Please provide literature support and limit your response to 1000 words or less.

 Gladeana McMahon stated that CBC (Cognitive Behavioural Coaching) does not give individuals answers to their difficulties but rather, through a collaborative process called ‘guided discovery’, assists them to devise their own conclusions and solutions.  Guided discovery is based on ‘socratic questioning’ whereby the coach asks a series of questions that enables the individual to become aware of the way he or she is thinking.”

As coaches, we are aware of the predetermined goal to get our players to reach a higher standard. By using problem solving skills, we can ask questions and help the players explore their thought process to arrive at the solution. This will give players the opportunity to practice problem solving and will help them to become more capable of solving problems that arise in games/competition.

One of the things that I like to do with my players is to let them run a play and them stop them in the middle of the play to see where everyone is and start asking questions. An example is that if we are running a passing play, I will count to 4 seconds and stop everyone. I will start to ask my receivers if they are at the right depth and if they ran the right route. When 2 receivers are standing next to each other, I will ask each of them what their route was and how deep it should be. This helps them understand that they cannot be next to each other and the importance of running the correct routes.

If the QB throws a bad pass, I will stop everyone and we will discuss all the possible scenarios that happened with the errant pass. We will talk about the chance of an interception, getting a receiver hurt if it is thrown too high or an incomplete pass and loss of down.

By using this method, I am able to get the players actively involved in the learning process, despite what position they are learning. It helps to enhance their task mastery, concept understanding and allows them to expand on their thinking process (from simple to complex).

Shane Pill wrote an article about a concept called “The Game Sense”. Pill said “The focus of the Game Sense approach being to place the participant in situations where decision making and problem solving are central to successful performance. The central strategy for teaching/coaching using the Game Sense approach is the use of questioning to stimulate thinking about the game instead of using more direct teaching/coaching approaches. Games are stopped at regular intervals and participants challenged to reflect on their participation in order to mature the play.”


McMahon, G. (N. D.). CBC – A Guided Discovery. Retrieved on 17 February 2016.

Pill, S. (N. D.). Teaching games of understanding. Australian Sports Commission. 29(2). Retrieved on 17 February 2016.