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

Tactical Decision-Making in Sport

How Coaches Can Help Athletes to Make Better In-Game Decisions, 1st Edition

Edited by David Cooper, Barrie Gordon


224 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367275242
pub: 2020-06-02
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 2nd June 2020
Hardback: 9780367275235
pub: 2020-06-02
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 2nd June 2020

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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 practicing 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 practicing 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

About the Editors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Physical Education
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General