Tactical Decision-Making in Sport : How Coaches Can Help Athletes to Make Better In-Game Decisions book cover
1st Edition

Tactical Decision-Making in Sport
How Coaches Can Help Athletes to Make Better In-Game Decisions

ISBN 9780367275242
Published July 13, 2020 by Routledge
226 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book expands on the ‘Developing Thinking Players’ model across a wide range of team and individual sports, to explain how coaches can help athletes to learn how to make better decisions during play and to think for themselves. It provides an overview of game-centred and athlete-centred approaches to teaching and coaching in sport, combining essential theory with practical tips and guidance.

Written by an international team of coaching researchers and practising coaches, the book provides sport-specific instructions for coaching players in territory games, net games, striking games, target games, racquet games and combat sports, including netball, basketball, ice hockey, cricket, softball, football, rugby, volleyball, squash and karate. The book argues that the implementation of these student and athlete-centred approaches creates more opportunities for athletes to understand their sport and improves their ability to think for themselves and to learn to make better in-game decisions. Providing a theoretical underpinning for teaching tactical decision-making, it considers the development of players at all levels and age groups, from youth athletes to elite level. Thirteen sport-specific case studies offer real-world coaching insights.  

This is essential reading for any student, researcher or practising teacher or coach working in sport, physical education and coach education.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction


1.          Linking Athlete-Centred Coaching, Game Centred Approaches and Developing Thinking Players to in-game tactical decision-making

            David Cooper


Part II: Tactical Decision Making - Ideas, Theories and Thoughts


2.          Developing Thinking Players

            Barrie Gordon


3.          Theoretical considerations of athlete decision-making

            Kaleigh Ferdinand Pennock


4.          Common Considerations within the four pillars of coaching with reference to territory games

            Guido Geisler


5.          Challenges that coaches face in empowering athletes to “think for themselves”

            Karlene Headley-Cooper


6.          Can game data measure the effectiveness of the athlete decision-making process?

            Tom Williams


Part III: Tactical Decision Making & Sport Specific Coaching for a Variety of Sports  


7.          Soccer (North America) or Football (Rest of the World)

            Guido Geisler and James Wallis


8.          Touch rugby

            Tabitha McKenzie and Barrie Gordon


9.          Ice hockey

            Darren Lowe


10.        Basketball

            John Campbell


11.        Netball

            Nathalie Williams


12.        Football (NFL/CFL)

            John M. McCarthy and Dave Brunner


13.        Strategies for teaching and coaching Territory games – “The End Zone Game”

            David Cooper


14.        Volleyball

            John Barrett


15.        Softball/Baseball

            Barrie Gordon


16.        Cricket

            David Cooper


17.        Coaching tactics and decision-making in target games

            Barrie Gordon


18.        Squash

            Mike Way


19.        Karate

            Gerard Lauziere


Part IV: Through the Lens of a Coach


20.        A coach’s journey

            Greg Gary


21.        Reflection on a lifetime of coaching

            David Cooper


Part V: How Can Coaches Successfully Turn Theory into Practice?


22.        Conclusion

            Barrie Gordon

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David Cooper is Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Course Facilitator and was Head Coach (1998–2015) of the successful University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s squash team.

Barrie Gordon is Associate Professor in Health and Physical Education at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Barrie has been involved in playing fastpitch softball in the New Zealand national league and currently represents New Zealand in the over 55s TAG football team.