Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Differences in Coaching Feedback between Coaches of Junior Elite Soccer Players and Junior Amateur Soccer Players

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Differences in Coaching Feedback between Coaches of Junior Elite Soccer Players and Junior Amateur Soccer Players

Article excerpt

Introduction

Youth soccer players increase their training as their coaches require more of them and as the players require more of themselves (Helsen, Hodges, Van Winckel, & Strakes, 2000). Previous research has pointed to the development and maximisation of players' skills as the main tasks of soccer coaches (K. Gilbert, 2011). Learning and adaptation have also been identified as important aspects of youth player development (J. Hansen & Henriksen, 2009; Ommundsen, 2009). In addition, research has shown that coaches have a strong impact on the technical and tactical skill development of both elite and amateur players (Martindale, Collins, & Daubney, 2005). The cognitive development of youth players in relation to feedback is essential for their development and future performance (Connolly, 1970; Haywood & Getchell, 2008; Piaget, 1952).

The development of technical and tactical skills among young soccer players is of major importance in soccer today (Bailey & Collins, 2013; Ford et al., 2012; Williams & Reilly, 2000). The verbal feedback given to junior players is essential in the development of such technical and tactical skills. Previous research has also shown that the content of the feedback is vital for players' further motivation and development (Cushion, Ford, & Williams, 2012; Ford, Yates, & Williams, 2010; Weiss, Amorose, & Wilko, 2009). Feedback helps promote effective learning (thereby ensuring the correct development of skills) and influences players' motivation to continue training (Williams & Hodges, 2005). Aalberg and Sæ ther (2016) showed how a professional soccer club invested heavily in coach resources (the number of coaches) in their youth department and thereby provided the players with the opportunity to reflect on their own tactical choices, a process that involved the use of video. Hornsey and Douglas (2012) put forward the argument that feedback is needed to increase performance levels. In a study by Jowett and Carpenter (2015), the coaches themselves pointed to the importance of giving their athletes positive feedback and encouragement and identified a lack of commitment as a behaviour that could lead to diminished relationship quality. In addition, the coaches under investigation in P. Ø. Hansen and Andersen's (2014) study highlighted the importance of objective feedback from coaches.

In another study, the coaches themselves emphasised the importance of stimulating and developing athletes' capacity for reflection. With such a starting point, feedback seems especially important (Hattie, 2012). Feedback has been revealed to be particularly important for learning in school (Hattie, 2013; Zeng, Leung, Liu, & Hipscher, 2009), and it may be argued that the learning process is the same for both students and soccer players. In a recent study, Hattie (2013) showed that the variables with the greatest impact on learning are the factors associated with the teacher, with feedback being central. Hattie (2013) found that of the 138 variables in his meta-analysis, feedback was the 10th most important factor for students' achievement. Furthermore, Hattie (2012) highlighted that an important link exists between the challenges that young people face and the feedback that they receive. Hattie pointed to challenges and feedback as two of the main ingredients of learning. The importance of feedback was also emphasised in a study by Pellett and Harrison (1996), who found that the performance levels among students with both good and bad skills increased after an intervention period with a great deal of feedback. According to Hattie (2013), visible learning occurs when learning is the clear objective, when it challenges the students (players), when feedback is provided and asked for and when engaged, passionate and active trainers and players participate in the learning process. However, as Hattie (2013) also pointed out - the quality of the feedback may differ substantially among instructors. …

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