Feedback. Introduction: (10 Minutes)

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1 1 Feedback Introduction: (10 Minutes) Good coaches are masters at giving and receiving feedback. They are continuously observing their players in action, analyzing their movements, and providing verbal and visual information to them about what they did, whether it met their expectations or not, and what they might do in the future to improve. Typically, coaches convey four forms of feedback. These are knowledge of results, knowledge of performance, motivation, and behavioral control. results entails a coach providing a player with information about whether or not she achieved her objective. In sports such as track and field a coach will provide athletes with information about their running times, distances jumped, or length of a throws. This is information that the athlete will need to confirm from reliable measurement instruments that the coach typically monitors such as watches or measurement tapes. In sports such as soccer and basketball, knowledge of results is typically redundant with what an athlete himself can monitor. This may include whether: a pass is completed, a defensive player blocked a shot, or a goal was scored. Because athletes can assess such information for themselves a question arises as to whether or not such information needs to be provided by a coach. Traditionally, coaches do provide such feedback, but this may be more because of convention and social expectations than of providing meaningful information to the athlete. performance entails coaches providing athletes with information about the quality and quantity of their actions. This can be further broken down to include information about the decisions they make and how well they execute responses. For example, if an athlete shot when she should have passed, or passed to one teammate rather than another one a coach can provide feedback to the athlete about having made an error in decision making. For games such as soccer and basketball, athletes must learn tactical decision making as well as how to execute skillful responses. A strength of the games approach to coaching (to be covered in a subsequent session) is that is promotes both tactical learning (decision making) and skill development together. A more commonly understood aspect of knowledge of performance is that associated with providing feedback about responses themselves. Coaches give information to players about where to look, how to place their feet, where on their foot to kick a ball, the speed with which to pass, and how to bend their knees to generate enough force to propel a ball to the goal. performance about the intensity of an action made by a player can also be critical to the athlete s development and a team s success. For example, an athlete may be able to perform the technical aspects of a task such as playing defense, but unless it is done with speed and alertness, it will probably not be very effective. Thus, knowledge of performance entails coaches providing feedback to athletes about the quality of their performance and the energy they expend performing various tasks.

2 2 Motivational feedback encompasses the things coaches do to engage and energize their players. Clearly, players who are distracted or appear to be disinterested in a particular activity need help with directing their attention to the activity in which teammates are engaged. This might be involvement in an intra-squad mini-game or a competition with another team. When a coach urges a player to listen-up or eyes on me he or she is attempting to direct a player s attention to the task at hand. It may also include keeping players in the program, and following up with them when they are absent from a session. This conveys to the player that he or she is missed and needed by the team. Motivational feedback may also entail the ongoing comments and gestures that coaches make to reinforce something that a player has done or is doing. Such comments as nice pass, great effort, and clapping and smiling are forms positive reinforcement that are energizing. On the other hand, comments and gestures that show displeasure with something a player has done or is doing can also be motivational. For example, when a coach frowns or yells keep your hands up on defense the result may be to energize a player even though the comments and gestures may be framed in negative terms. Removing a player from a game after he/she has made and error or failed to expend effort is also a way for coaches to give motivational feedback (i.e., provided that the player is interested in remaining in the game). Overall, experts agree that coaches should strive to remain positive and catch players doing the right thing when they provide motivational feedback. This is so because it is believed that when players are reinforced for the positive things that they do, they feel better about participating, their teammates and coaches, and are more likely to repeat those things again. Behavioral control feedback entails coaches creating a team environment that makes it possible for him/her to teach and for players to have fun and learn. This would entail players entering and exiting sports session in an orderly fashion, as well as having players conform to such team rules as listening when the coach is speaking. During pre and post session meetings players should also learn to wait for their turn to speak, or during water breaks players should understand that they go for water as a team rather than darting off on their own. In general, a coach needs to be consistent and firm in how he or she provides players with feedback about their behavior in the sports program. Using prompts such as when someone is talking, what do we do?, or how do we enter and leave the gym? will get players thinking about team routines that should be followed. Normally, being assertive and consistent early on will help to establish team norms that will help coaches maintain an orderly environment after a few sessions. Building a culture of feedback in Project Coach is also an important goal in our program. It is not only important that we learn to provide meaningful feedback to our players, but that we learn to give and receive feedback to one another in order to improve as coaches. Our goal is to become better at what we do, and the best way to improve is for all of us to continuously ask three questions. The first is What are we doing? Often we are not aware of those things that enhance or detract from our performance in various situations. For example, a coach who catches a player doing something good, (e.g., acknowledging that a teammate has played good defense) and reinforces her for being a good teammate may get reinforcement herself from a supervisor. This would, hopefully, increase the coach s awareness of the importance of using reinforcement to reward such positive

3 3 player behaviors. On the other hand, a coach who thinks that he is working closely with his team, but is having a conversation with another coach about a non-program related topic might find a supervisor urging him to get back on task. In both instances, feedback is used to heighten a coach s awareness of what he/she is actually doing. A second question that all staff should ask themselves is what should I be doing? From all the work we do to prepare for sport s sessions the answer should be apparent. Coaches should be engaged with their players explaining activities, providing feedback, maintaining control, resolving conflicts, and energizing things when they start to drag. If a coach is not doing one of these activities then he/she needs to refocus, and start coaching again. A third question, we should all ask ourselves is what can we do better? Even if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, there are always opportunities to improve. Perhaps, we need to be more or less animated, speak slower and louder, or do a better job in including a particular player to get involved in a team discussion? The bottom line here is that great coaches constantly try to improve, and that by getting honest feedback they can do so. A final word on building a culture that values feedback is that giving and receiving such will not only make Project Coach better for the children with which we work, but also help us to improve as coaches, students, and people. It is important to understand that when we give feedback to others we are contributing to our program, and that when we receive it we should think of it as something that can help us improve, rather than as personal criticism. On a final note, irrespective of the form feedback may take, we should all understand that we are all limited in the amount of information that we can retain at any one time. A coach telling a player to Intercept the moving ball at 45 degrees, then flex her hip at 40 degrees, and her knee at 30 degrees, before extending her hip and knee to contact the ball with the medial side of her foot, with a 20 degree follow through will probably not be very effective in getting an athlete to understand what needs to be done since it has been shown that in such situations people can only remember 2 or 3 points. Better yet, a quick demonstration would paint a picture for what the coach wants his players to do. Similarly, in providing feedback to each other during our coaching academy we do not want to convey a list of 10 recommendations of what things would help a coach to become better. Normally, pointing out 1 or 2 things to work on would be most effective. Such as, speak with your coaching voice and spend a few more minutes reviewing the practice plan so you do not need to refer to notes during a sports session would be a great deal to work on. Thus, before we give feedback, let s think about how we can keep it short and simple so that the person receiving it is able to understand what they are being told or shown.

4 4 A. Session Objectives: Objectives: 1. To understand the four major categories of feedback: (a) knowledge of results, (b) knowledge of performance, (c) motivation, and (d) behavioral control. 2. To be able to use FIM as a basic form of feedback in the games approach. 3. To understand what a culture of feedback entails and why it is critical to Project Coach. 4. To be able to give ourselves feedback about how what we are doing aligns with what we should be doing. 5. To be able to give ourselves feedback about how what we are doing can be improved. B. Huddle: (10 minutes) In a circle, each coach will select another coach and convey one thing that the coach does well, and one thing that he/she might think about improving. The intent of this exercise is to begin to develop a comfort level with giving and receiving feedback. For example, anticipated feedback might be: Juan makes good eye contact when speaking in class, but his volume is too soft, Kenny has great energy and gets others interested in an activity, but has erratic attendance in coaching classes, and Iris is always on time and is totally engaged in class, but she rarely speaks up. C. Activities: 1. One lead instructor lines up and prepares to take a penalty kick, while the other role plays and gives the following instructions: (15 minutes) a. The OUTCOME coach Hey Juan we need you to make these points if you do, we ll make the playoffs, then we can win the tournament etc. --not necessarily in a negative fashion, but focusing on results as opposed to effort, technique etc b. The SKILL coach Freya, remember bend those legs, focus on the ball, keep your balance, and follow through as you extend your leg. c. The MOTIVATIONAL coach Jordan, you ve worked really hard all game, just relax, keep showing me that same level of effort, that s all I m asking from you. d. The BEHAVIORAL coach Justinia you have been coming to practice late, and not calling me when you miss a session. If you want to be a part of this team you need to be here and on time

5 5 **Without giving out the aspects we re focusing on beforehand we could have our coaches ID in their own words what kind of qualities are on display, then have small groups rehearse their own skits to emulate one of these styles, and brainstorm about what information a player may be getting and how he/she may feel about it: 2. Identify an activity such a dribble tag, Get Outta Here, or 1 v 1 shooting to a goal with a defender, and the lead teacher demonstrates how FIM (i.e., freeze, Instruct, Model) is used. (40 minutes) a. Give each coach an opportunity to use FIM, and the group can provide feedback on each person s capacity to give short, simple, and effective feedback. D. Evaluation/Summary: (10 Minutes) 1. What are the 4 major ways that coaches give feedback to their athletes? 2. What does FIM mean? 3. How much time should a coach take to give feedback during a game? 4. How many things should a coach tell players when giving feedback? 5. Why Project Coach have a culture of feedback?

6 6 Homework: Name: 1. Select 2 classes in school, and during the period record the number of times your teacher provides feedback to students in each of the following categories. For example, if your teacher tells a student to keep quiet you will record a mark I under Behavior Control. Likewise, if he explains to a student how to go about correct something that she did wrong such as pronouncing a word, or solving an equation you would record a I under Performance. If your teacher encourages a student by telling him to focus more or stick with trying to figure something out record a I under Motivational. Finally, if the teacher provides a student with information about how many items she got right or provides a grade for an assignment record a I under Results. At the end of the class you are tracking we would assume that there will be several I in each box. Class 1: Results Performance Motivational Behavior Control Class 2: Results Performance Motivational Behavior Control 2. Add up the number of I you recorded in each box, and write the total with a circle around it in the box. Which type of feedback occurred most in each class. 3. Do you think that one type of feedback was more effective in helping students to learn? If so, which one was most effective? 4. Additional Observations: Was one teacher better in giving feedback than another? If so, why?

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