chapter  7
13 Pages

Coaching for understanding

WithSteve Mitchell and Adriano de Souza

The concept of ‘Coaching for Understanding’ derives from an approach to games teaching in physical education (PE) that became known as Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). This approach was conceptualized in 1982 at Loughborough University in the UK by David Bunker and Rod Thorpe who, in visiting schools and observing games lessons, saw instruction that was ineffective in developing game performance in children. Bunker and Thorpe (1982) believed that they were observing games instruction that had the following results: (1) a large percentage of children achieving little success due to the emphasis on performance, (2) the majority of school leavers ‘knowing’ very little about games, (3) the production of supposedly ‘skilful’ players who in fact possess inflexible techniques and poor decision-making capacity, (4) the development of teacher/coach-dependent performers, and (5) the failure to develop ‘thinking’ spectators and ‘knowing’ administrators at a time when games (and sport) were an important form of entertainment in the leisure industry.