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The Gaming Problem | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Posted in: All other coaching children topics

The Gaming Problem

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  • mantrobus

    It is always a challenge when delivering to young children (5-11 years old) to keep them engaged and learning at the same time. I have gone through the trial and error process for a long time and have come to the conclusion that it will certainly vary from group to group.


    I have recently develop several practices that try to emulate the engaging aspect of computer games. I often hear coaches say 'kids arnt the same as when I was a child, they just sit in front of a screen for hours'. However, in my opinion that is feedback for us as coaches. If they would rather sit behind a computer than play outside or attend sports clubs then their is something the game is providing that we are not.


    So I asked some kids, they stated they enjoyed playing with others (not always friends) and solving problems with them. Futhermore, they said expressed their enjoyment at trying to overcome a challenge and get to the next level. They also said many other things, but these were two things that stuck out for me. So I attempted to emulate this in my practices, the result: The progression through the levels meant players were being challenged at their appropriate ability and they had the chance to discuss with others how they were completing the different challenges the game threw at them.


    I have written this very much from a invasion game/ football point of you. What are your thoughts on this?


    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  • JonWoodward74

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for the post and it is something I have been looking at for several years, both as a coach and a coach educator.

    The simplest way of gaining interest of children is to relate to them through their interests, and the mimic of games, tv shows and movies creates this initial link. It also links to the impact of 'chaos' in your coaching - allowing sessions to develop for the children to solve the problem - it also involves us coaching by not coaching, but creating the appropraite environment for success to happen.

    I use a camera (via a iphone, ipad, gopro, or whatever) to video aspects of the session and use as an instant tool for athletes - it is an instant review for them, a great way for indidvudals and groups to see what they can do differently, and is in a format most of them use and are used to (we are coaching the 21st century generation!)

    I was talking to a teacher friend of mine and he has been challenged this year to engage one of the pupils in the development of his numeracy and literacy. The boy is a keen bird watcher and by using birds and ornithology to engage him - his development has been remarkable (though the frustration is that whilst his development is seen within the SATS results, the creativity around how he was engaged is not captured.....)


    Happy coaching!!


    Jon (@JonWoodward74)


  • LizBurkinshaw

    Is this 'gamification'? I'm trying to understand how this works at the moment. Have you used any books or websites for inspiration or just your own creativity? 

    Ps have you noticed that connected coaches has a gamification element of earning points and progress bar. I'm hoping to get to medal contender soon ;) 

  • pippaglen

    Wasn't sure what that bar was for Liz , over the past few weeks I've had some great game ideas that just keep flowing, I must post when I get 5 spare minutes.

  • pippaglen

    These are great Ideas. Last year I was doing dance for year 1,2 and 3.  As moshi monsters was on the up in the world of children I based the dance session on moshi monster's. The children was so excited and engaged pupils came up with some excellent dances and ideas.

  • mantrobus

    Hi all,

    Thanks your comments, Jon I also use the ipad to video game footage as it creates even more links to their World. A good tool I have found is getting them to video others play - it really focuses them on observing others and identifying success and areas for improvement.



  • PaulT

    I love to use scenario & gamification in coaching and something I have always done since being introduced to it working on soccer camps in the states playing Sponge Bob, Robin Hood, Ben Ten, Super Mario etc..

    See below for a few links to some reading 

    Exergaming (BHF study) via @AnnaChalkley on Twitter (If your on Twitter giver her a follow)


    Computer games Vs PE


    Gamification is taking over our lives


    Level Best


    I'm also actually off to a CPD session on story book coaching on Friday so will feedback with anything that links into this thread https://twitter.com/folcoachclinic/status/599236554167590912 

  • Wendyrussell

    As a teacher and coach I have long used games, movies and TV shows to link the students to activities or game ideas.

    I would call it the 'techno Wimbledon effect" Think of how successful dodgeball is now after the success of the film, or students now wanting to play Quidditch. What happens to all PS users who loves football when a game is about to be released "count down to a night sleeping outside to be first in line, and play all night"

    I have recently used the ranking/points system from FIFA for teams and players.


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