The traditional approach to coaching, because of its structured nature, leads to performers being mechanical. Typically, players who have been coached in a traditional way respond to situations in a prescriptive way, rather than spontaneous. Street Soccer encourages players to be more innovative and expressive. In Street Soccer coaching there are no right or wrong answers to a given problem. Because players are encouraged to develop their own solutions, they are able to try new ways of performing skills. The rules that are imposed on players learning tend to restrict the development of the new skills. If a player is told how to kick a ball, they don’t get the chance to experiment with different ways, and create new ways. In soccer, coaches teach the ‘Cruyff’ turn. But think how the ‘Cruyff’ turn was developed, before it became a part of the coaching manual. It was invented by a player, who must have been experimenting with ways to turn, and trying new things. How many more ‘Cruyff’ turns are there?
Traditional coaching, done according to the ‘textbook’ also tries to mould every player to play a certain way. It could be seen like a factory, churning out ‘model’ players. In comparison, street soccer recognises each player as an individual and develop each play as unique.
Many teachers and learning theorists may agree that discovery is a very successful means of learning. Retention rates are reportedly higher in discovery learning, rather than situations where learners are provided with knowledge. This principle is the same for movement patterns and motor skills development.
When you start applying the street soccer coaching methods, more of these differences will become obvious to you.
Street soccer is a system of coaching. It is based on the experiences and works of the International Street Soccer Association (ISSA) where we continually show that coaching can be done more effective than the traditional method.
What do we base our coaching on?
- No answers provided, encourages solutions to be developed
- Based on encouraging players to learn, rather than giving them knowledge
- Encourages natural creativity
- Based on the recognition that the right and left hemispheres of the brain have specific jobs
- Based on utilising a person’s inherent learning abilities – discovery
- Does not impose predetermined techniques. It lets players develop their own natural technique
- Recognises the contribution of the whole person to learning
- Covers the range of coaching from skill development, creativity to advanced tactical awareness
- Utilises many alternative methods of coaching
- Based on the fundamental principles of learning
- Based on the psychology of ‘flow’ and optimal performance
- Questions the rules and boundaries imposed by traditional methods
How did you learn skills when you were a young child? Who taught you to walk? Who taught you to pick things up, grasp, sit, kneel etc? The answer is that no-one taught you, but you still learned to these things. Street Soccer coaching is based on the fact that human beings are naturally very good learners. The principles of Street Soccer coaching aim to utilise out natural and inherent ability to learn skills and techniques, by encouraging the learner to access their own learning tools, such as vision, sound, touch, kinaesthesis and emotions. Much of human learning occurs through internal feedback and the feedback a learner receives from their sight and sound. The learner naturally makes corrections without instructions from the third party.
Skills are considered to be whole, and are not broken down into teachable parts. In addition, the coach is seen as a facilitator, rather than the expert. Knowledge is held by both the coach and the learner and feedback flows between learner and coach, and vice versa.