Environment

Content focussed on helping you take a holistic approach to developing your players.

The question this week comes from Rich: “My main issue is getting my U9 team to believe they are as good as what I see them do at training. On game day they seem to freeze up and suffer a bit of stage fright!” Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with? We would love to hear from you. Here’s what you can do: Join the conversation on our PDP Slack Community. Post them in the…

This blog contains two videos of a modified 3v3. In this session, PDP Lead Researcher & AIK Academy Coach, James Vaughan changes task constraints and encourages player reflection to create opportunities for learning with space for creative expression. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with just 6 players for a whole session. This is something I really enjoy after years of coaching futsal. However, working with small numbers of players for a whole session can be daunting. In this blog, I want to…

How do you differentiate between each individual’s learning experience within your group? No single player’s experience is the same. In this article, Reed Maltbie discusses how you can ensure that you understand the needs of every player in your group. “This is easy. Watch me again. This is how you do it.” It was getting more difficult to mask my frustration. I had been trying to teach my 11-year-old son how to do long division for about 45 minutes now, and my patience was wearing…

In this article rugby coach and researcher, Jonny McMurtry discusses the importance of connection between athlete and coach taking a deep dive into an approach that is needs based and not just athlete-centred. Firstly, I hope this blog post finds you, your family and friends in good health; this is strange times and new territory for us all and I hope we can follow the advice of health professionals and leaders of our countries to “flatten the curve” and keep our communities safe and well,…

Ben Bartlett, Senior Youth Coach Educator at the Football Association, gives some fascinating real-life examples to explain the importance of aligning a team’s ideal model of performance with the capabilities and behaviours of its players and the practice of its coaching. There is a Japanese proverb, highlighted by James Kerr in his book ‘Legacy’, which states that “Vision without action is a day-dream; action without vision is a nightmare”. With this in mind, lecturer and coach developer Bob Muir proposed the model below, asking coaches…

In this article, AFC A licensed coach Andrew Oakley shares his perspective on a significant issue in Australian grassroots football. Andrew discusses the risks of trials, recruitment and talent identification, outlining the importance of belonging and cohesion in a young footballers developmental journey. Why do we keep shuffling the cards in hope of a ‘winning’ hand? At the end of every season in Australia’s youth football landscape, a ritual is repeated that isn’t doing our clubs or players any favours. The annual circus of retention,…

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, we host Psychologist and Motivational Interviewing Pioneer, Prof. Stephen Rollnick. Stephen is a world leader in psychology and recently co-authored the book, Coaching Athletes to be Their Best: Motivational Interviewing in Sport. Alongside him is UEFA Pro Licensed Coach and Assistant Coach at Crawley Town, Edu Rubio. Stephen and Edu will be hosted by the PDP Team, Dave Wright and Dan Wright for a wide ranging discussion on effective coach communication. We dive into a number of topics including: Coach…

Premature professionalism in youth sport is a growing problem. Environments created to replicate professional sport, ‘elite’ pathways at 8-years-old and coaches removing autonomy from the environment by exerting total control. In this article, PDP Editor, Dave Wright challenges the status quo and asks how we can break the machine that coaching is at risk of becoming. The world of sport is constantly evolving and new technology creeps into all sporting codes. Youth players wear tracking devices and GPS, while data can even now be captured…

Sideline support and direct instruction are two very different things. In this article, Founder of Working with Parents in Sport, Gordon MacLelland discusses the damage that can be caused from parents overstepping and instructing children while they play. Every weekend all over the world millions of parents, children and coaches set off for their weekly sporting ritual ‘Match Day’. Many will follow the same process each week and will never question their routine or behaviour. Many of these parents and coaches are well intentioned, trying…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan sits down with Professor Stephen Rollnick, an expert psychologist who has worked for the NHS & in sport. James & Stephen discuss team work and what opportunities sport provides to young people in expressing themselves, solving problems and learning. Stephen Rollnick is Honorary Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine, Cardiff University. He was a practicing psychologist in the UK National Health Service for 16 years, and then became a teacher and researcher on the subject…

Creativity values, culture, systems and control. What does it all mean and how does it impact coaching and sporting environments? In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright hosts Co-Founder of my fastest mile, Mark Upton alongside PDP Lead Researcher and AIK Academy Coach, James Vaughan. In this wide-ranging conversation, the guys discuss some of James’ Phd research and his recently published paper on creativity, as well as diving down a number of rabbit holes such as: Challenging the role of traditional sports science The…

In this chapter of John O’Sullivan’s new book, Every Moment Matters, John shares ‘Lesson 2’: You Coach a Person, Not a Sport. This excerpt dives into the youth development overhaul at the Belgian FA, cites the work of Steve Kerr, discusses athlete-centered coaching and gives coaches some practical tools to self-reflect. Lesson 2: You Coach a Person, Not a Sport You have to ask one fundamental question: who is in front of me? —Kris van der Haegen You coach a child, not a sport. —…

In this article, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan reflects on how a history of linear, data-driven approaches are limiting player development. James emphasises the importance of understanding the complexity that comes with human development. Last month I finally published a scientific paper, Developing Creativity to Enhance Human Potential in Sport: A Wicked Transdisciplinary Challenge. After rejections and reviews, the paper was finally out there. Cue scientific revolution and practical evolution – next step Nobel prize ceremony in December. Not quite. Even so, I was excited…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright is joined by Gordon MacLelland, the Founder of Working with Parents in Sport. Gordon and Dave dive into a discussion which includes practical advice for parents on how to support their children in sport, how clubs can better engage with parents, how to manage the car ride home and much more. Gordon has vast coaching and teaching experience and this discussion is essential viewing for coaches and clubs looking to better understand parental influence in youth sport….

In this Masterclass Discussion Dave Wright sits down with motivational researcher and rugby coach, Jonny McMurtry. Jonny discusses his research into motivation and participation in youth sport. Jonny and Dave cover a number of topics including athlete motivation, autonomy supportive environments, talent identification and coach behaviour. This is another fascinating discussion around psychology and youth development not to be missed. Show Notes 0:00  – 2:00: Introduction and upcoming Rugby World Cup predictions 2:00 – 5:35: Background in Rugby and coaching 5:35 – 8:04: Why player…

Are learning and performance different? In this article, Nick Soderstrom discusses how teachers or coaches can enhance performance by stretching individuals and discusses the key differences between the two. You’re teaching a concept in class, working through examples and explaining the steps. You have your students do some practice problems and they seem to be getting it! After a while, the bell rings, you dismiss your class, and you leave for home feeling satisfied with your students’ progress and your teaching methods. The next day,…

Popular searches: defending, finishing, 1v1, playing out from the back, working with parents