chapter  11
14 Pages

Critical Issues in the Teaching of Team Sports

In chapter 11, our aim is to explore different factors that are critical to the teaching-learning process. In the first part of this chapter, our goal is to study in more detail team sports’ and games’ common traits without neglecting their distinctive and unique characters. Within this analysis, we do not want to distance ourselves from the regular social practices of sport but want to try and have a better understanding of these social practices to:

1. Try and maximize learning time in a school physical education setting

2. Avoid seeing students as perpetual beginners 3. Go beyond regular sporting practices that seem to hamper learn-

ing at the novice and intermediate stages by distorting the true learning objective, which is the development of game sense


The notion of specificity relates to a linear evolution or progression in motor competencies ranging from simple to complex and from kindergarten to high school. In our view, however, we question this linear progression of motor competencies because of probable moments of stagnation due to students’ biological and psychological evolution and

the learning conditions that we present to students. Also, one can note that the evolution of action rules and motor competencies can be efficient and eventually be stabilized at a certain speed of play but can totally deteriorate as soon as the speed of play is increased. From an ideal learning perspective, the idea would be to be to integrate a few adapted similar and different action rules from a student’s first exposure to team sport learning to the end of scholarship. However, the learning of action rule knowledge should be detached progressively from the objects from which this knowledge was originally constructed. The underlying hypothesis resides in the fact that action rules, grouped as guiding principles, can be reinvested in other games or sports with similar characteristics.