When teaching beginners it must be known that they are in the cognitive stage of learning. In this stage of learning certain approaches must be taken to keep the students excited and involved. To do this certain things like praising success (positive reinforcement) works as all students in this age are generally young with short attention spans.
For the beginner’s lesson plan it would be more discovery learning, getting the student to get a feel for the sport through feeling the ball with their feet or shooting practice. The teacher teaches through examples and skills, and the student will learn through repetition and trail and error, also if the student is unsuccessful they are not punished but this is considered as “part of the experience” and the students learn through observation.
Example of a lesson plan for beginners:
* Warm up – a big bag of balls and all the students get a ball and kick it around to warm up, the teacher walks around to see individual students and spends a brief moment with each student passing the ball.
* Exercises – the group splits into pairs each pair is given a number then the pairs split to two different sides 10 metres apart. The teacher places the ball in the middle of the two lines of students. Numbers are then called out randomly and the corresponding students must make it to the ball first.
* The group forms a circle and some students go into the middle for a “piggy in the middle” style game of football where they must retrieve the ball. The teacher walks around to give aid and teaches the students throughout the game by showing them. The teacher joins in at first then lets the students try on their own.
* The students are put into teams where they will run at first without a ball to a cone and back then the next student will go in a relay style. After that praise is given to everyone and then the students do it with a ball. Variations can be used such as other cones that that have to dribble around. The most successful team is praised. No punishment is given.
* Game – A game with minimal rules at first (including no hands and out of bounds) and throughout the game introduce positions and some simple rules. Encouragement for the weaker players to get involved. The teacher joins in and plays, stopping play frequently to help people who are having trouble and to give the students breaks as they are normally young. Also as they haven’t much skill the game would turn into a chasing the ball game. Introducing different positions slowly and stoppage of play would help get the play back to normal.
When teaching beginners they must be kept interested or they will not learn or try. Also it must be made sure that students don’t form groups and stop following the lesson. A command style of teaching must be used sometimes i.e. a whistle to calm down the lesson and to get the students to listen to you and control the lesson and keep organization. This also ensures that all information given to the students is correct.
The intermediate phase of learning is also known as the “associative” phase. During this phase the student can perform the skill but needs guidance in developing and defining the skill. The motor programs for skills are formed which develops the skill but it is not yet grooved. The student can also now self- correct.
For the teaching style the student and teacher will have a lot of interaction as the teaching style used is reciprocal, in this the teacher will set a task and ask the students for feedback afterwards. This helps interaction and the teacher knows who is learning as the teacher will ask questions and the student will have input. The students also will work in pairs and self correct together which is team building, the teacher will also give and overview of how the lesson went and how individual exercises go.
* Warm up – a few ‘easy’ laps across the field and some light stretching. As students are at this phase this means they are interested in the sport and will be willing to do harder exercises, although students must still be kept interested and not punished too hard.
* Exercises – using no defenders to start do a dribbling exercise between 2 people. Then add a passive defender and the attackers have to pass or go around the defender, then the defender becomes increasingly active. The students switch between being defenders and attackers. This practice helps develop decision making.
* Practices would be broken up with ball juggling and free shooting between the group to keep the students interested and make sure they don’t feel that they are worked to hard. The students can still lose interest at this phase.
* “follow you pass” this practice includes a large circle of students were they pass someone opposite them then follow their pass by running to were they passed and taking the position of the person with the ball
* Game – The teacher would split the students into teams but the students would decide between themselves the positions they would pay as they would have naturally already taken positions. The game would include most rules, the teacher would keep stopping the game to explain to students what they are doing wrong and tell them the right methods and how to improve e.g. stop them and show them a defensive procedure. The teacher would remain positive. At the end of the game the teacher tells the students how they did and gives them an overview and asks for feedback from the students.
The advanced stage or “autonomous” phase of learning is very specific. The student is ‘automatic’ and has very little conscious thought in the skill. This phase is reversible so the students must remember to keep refreshing their skills. A lot of the teaching for this phase hasn’t as much to do with gaining skills as the student will already have them but to use these skills in different situations e.g. pressure and to increase the fitness of the student and the reaction time and more the mental side of the game e.g. decision making. The teacher would use more of a command style teaching, just setting the task as little explanation will be required for the students.
* Warm up – A mixed warm up, which included jogging, jogging side wards, stretching, shuttle runs. After the running the students would do intense private stretching were at first the teacher would teach the students stretches but after a while the students would be expected to learn how to do their own stretches relative the their own body, focusing on parts of the body which need more attention e.g. a weak thigh.
* Exercises – set piece plays. This is a practice were each student would get to tune their own position, defenders would form a wall and guard attackers in the area, the goalkeeper would have to save the ball and the attackers would have to score. This is a good exercise as students would now be learning specific to their own position as there is no need in a goalkeeper doing the same practices as attackers, etc.
* The students would do the same for different situations such as corners, this has the same effect as set pieces. The teacher would speak to the different students in their different positions to give them different advice and techniques as what is relevant to a defender might not be relevant to an attacker.
* To teach mental preparation and the students to control their temper in situations the teacher could make an attacker go against 2 defenders and give him options to pass back to or a defender with two attackers coming at him, or a goalie coming out to decrease the angle the attacker has to shoot at. This would teach the students to decrease their amount of panic and they would remember these practices for real games and this would increase the mental side of their game.
* Game situation – A full scale game with even teams and full rules. The teacher would play referee or as the coach is another referee is present. If a student doesn’t put in full effort or makes a terrible mistake the teacher wouldn’t embarrass him in front of the team but rather substitute him and talk to him individually to stop him from losing confidence in the future. The teachers would try and encourage set plays that the students have practiced. The teacher may disallow heavy tackling as to protect players from possible injuries that could occur.