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Darts Personal Best 18th October 2018

Comments (0) Posted in Darts, Practice by Phil Amos on October 18th, 2018

Personal Best: 166, 9 dart finish.

Interesting practice today. The value of the practice session was definitely consolidation rather than challenge. I was surprised to do a personal best today for the 9 dart challenge.

If you’d like to find out more please comment.

Darts Personal Best 17th October 2018

Comments (0) Posted in Darts, Practice by Phil Amos on October 17th, 2018

Personal Best: 140, 9 dart finish.

The professionals can do 501, 9 dart finish – so I am pretty rubbish but…I am improving.

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Darts Personal Best 16th October 2018

Comments (0) Posted in Darts, Practice by Phil Amos on October 16th, 2018

Did a Personal Best today: 100, 9 dart finish.

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Darts Personal Best 15th October 2018

Comments (0) Posted in Darts, Practice by Phil Amos on October 15th, 2018

So I’m trying to get better at darts. I’m experimenting with all the concepts that guide me when coaching children in athletics. I’m trying to learn more about practice through my own experimentation, so that I can create better practice for the children I coach in athletics.

Guiding concepts:
– Randomised vs Blocked Practice.
– Implicit Learning.
– Mastery (Growth Mindset – Dweck) – Love Challenge, intrigued by mistakes and enjoy the effort.
– Lots of Practice (Doing)
– Deliberate Practice / Deliberate Play
– Feedback
– Performance before Competence
– Pleasantly Frustrating
– Challenge and Consolidate
– Clearly defined Goals

Did a personal best today: 87, 9-dart finish.

If you’d like to find out more please comment.

What if…?

Comments (0) Posted in Learning, Practice, Questions by Phil Amos on September 4th, 2015

Our Learners

What if our learners set their own challenges and design their own games and tasks to meet those challenges?
What if our learners have opportunities to lead and make decisions?
What if our learners work cooperatively in groups and contributed to each other’s learning?
What if our learners are given time to reflect on their practice and performance, draw conclusions and progress in their own way?
What if our learners take the opportunity to progress at their own pace?
What if our learners work things out for themselves?
What if the tasks our learners practice, make sense and seem relevant to their development?

What if all this happens at once?
What if all this happens all the time?

The Coach

What if the coach plans for this to happen?
What if the coach organises things so this happens?
What if the coach observes and does just enough to facilitate and accelerate learning whilst all this is happening?

Who’s driving the car? Who’s building the road?

“Calm Down!”

Comments (0) Posted in Learning, Practice by Phil Amos on February 12th, 2015

I was recently observing a swimming lesson for 5 year old’s. Well, actually I was enjoying a coffee without paying much attention, until I heard the swimming coach say rather sternly to one of the children, “Calm down”. This got me thinking, do we really want our learners to ‘calm down’ or do we want them to be excited about learning and use that excitement to sustain their motivation to learn?

Two Types of Excited.

As I coach I see two types of excited behaviour. I see ‘Excited – On Task’ and ‘Excited – Off Task’.

‘Excited – On Task’, might be:

• Excited – engaged.
• Excited-interested.
• Excited – curious.
• Excited-improving.
• Excited-“I’m working it out!”
• Excited “I wonder if I can do the next level-up?”

‘Excited – Off Task’, might be:

• Excited-bored.
• Excited-confused.
• Excited-overwhelmed.
• Excited self-conscious.
• Excited-“I’m not as good as everyone else!”
• Excited – “I wish we were doing running, I’m good at that!”

We coaches should be aiming for excited learners, ‘Excited – On Task’ learners.

Copy Video Games.

If you have ever watched anyone playing a video game you will see a lot of, ‘Excited – On Task’. Video games create, ‘Excited – On Task’ by having levels that start easy and gradually get more difficult.

The motivation behind the progressive levels goes something like this:

• “I’m on level 3”. Current ability – Success.
• “I used to be on level 2”. Evidence of improvement – Success.
• “I’m nearly at level 4”. Belief – Future Success.

Video Games challenge the player to ‘work-out’ each level through experience and practice. This might be:

• “I am learning what I need to do to progress to the next level; I am working this out”. Learning – Success.

Video Games also have points which help to provide incremental evidence of moving towards ‘success’. Even if our gamers don’t complete a level, they may score more points – “I’m getting closer to completing this level”.

Adding points scoring to our practice sessions benefits our learners by:

• Quickly turning practice into a game like activity; helping to promote ‘Excited-On Task’. ‘Excited – Fun’.
• Helping our learners fail and fail again better.

So if we design practice sessions that look like video games, with levels and points, we create opportunities for success. We increase our chances of coaching ‘Excited-On Task’ learners. We minimise having to say, “Calm down”.

Please leave any questions you may have in the comments.

Coaching – The Art Of Less Is More.

Comments (0) Posted in Practice by Phil Amos on January 28th, 2015

Effective coaches are always asking themselves “What can I do to help the athletes I coach progress more quickly? One solution to this is to design sessions that increase the amount Deliberate Practice.

Deliberate Practice is the type of practice you observe when your athletes are completely absorbed in what they are doing. Deliberate Practice is the type of practice where great increases in the speed of learning happen. Deliberate Practice is practice with the ‘concentration face’ on.

Concentration Face

To help the athletes we coach to put on their ‘concentration face’. We can do less:

• Less “This is happening”:  More “What is happening?”
• Less “Try this…”:  More “What could you do?”
• Less “Do this”:  More “You could do, X, Y or Z, which will be best for you?”
• Less grouping on ability:  More learning from each other in mixed ability groups.
• Less over challenge:  More optimal challenge.
• Less “Well done”:  More “Well done because…”
• Less session goals set:  More purpose.
• Less structure:  More creativity.
• Less about ability:  More about improvement.
• Less intervention:  More letting learning happen.

Less Thinking: More Doing.

When I was younger I played football. I remember a particular match where during the first half, I had played well, maybe the best I had ever played. I had been in the ‘zone’ – absorbed; my ‘concentration face’ had been on.

At half-time, our coach went around the team, with various points of advice for each player. His advice to me, “Whatever you are doing – keep doing it?” My second half was not as good.

Please leave a comment. What could my football coach have done less of? What could you do less of to help your learners learn more?