Game sense — more than just “common sense”?

I like games; I enjoy modifying games; I do believe in the power of cricket games based learning to develop cricketers who are technically competent, tactically wise and mentally prepared.

But in truth, I do still struggle to understand the many different flavours of games-based coaching.

So I was very interested to listen to a recent podcast* from Risto Marttinen & Stephen Harvey with Shane Pill, of Flinders University, in which Dr Pill explained some of the key features of the Games Sense Approach (GSA) to coaching, and how it differs from Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and the Tactical Games Approach.

I won’t go into a detailed review of their conversation — listen to the podcast! — but there are a few points that have started to make (more) sense of the various approaches to games-based coaching, for me.

Continue reading “Game sense — more than just “common sense”?”

Game awareness – how small is small enough in cricket SSGs?

I had a couple of interesting conversations with parents over the weekend.

One, with the mother of a young player who really wasn’t seeing the connection between the skills we practice and the wider game of cricket.

Another, with a dad from another group, who commented on how the players were starting to show good game sense. We play a lot of games with the latter group — they have been the “guinea pigs” for the “play-review-play-review…” sessions, in fact.

Could it be that what we are assuming too much of  young players who don’t actually know that much about the game, or their role in it?  Very few play in the park; I doubt any of them ever play any street cricket, or backyard.

The only time they play cricket is during our coaching sessions.

Do we need to include (even) more gameplay in the “curriculum”?

And if we do, what is the smallest small-sided game that we could play to introduce more “game awareness”?

Continue reading “Game awareness – how small is small enough in cricket SSGs?”