The “VARK” model of learning employs Visual, Auditory, Reading/writing, and Kinesthetic components to reinforce both the teaching and learning processes. Let’s think of each component as a communications channel. We multiply the flow of information to the learner, and improve opportunities for understanding by reinforcing concepts and expanding learning opportunities for those who learn differently. Another solid model is “PESOS,” Prepare, Explain, Show, Observe, and Supervise. With more than three decades of coaching experience, I have discovered whether working with my own players on the field, lecturing to fellow coaches at a conference, or working with other players at my Offensive Line Clinics, that people learn best through a learning strategy referred to as “Modeling.”
Modeling is a strategy where the teacher/coach explicitly shows the students/players how to complete an activity before they attempt to do it on their own. All factors considered, it has been my experience that players tend to respond more favorably to an actual visual representation of a particular teaching point rather than an abstract illustration drawn on a board or only shared verbally.
Modeling provides both a framework for the coach and/or teacher and clarifies a picture in a player and/or student’s mind as to how to execute the drill. There is nothing more frustrating in teaching/coaching than giving directions to students/players either written or spoken then asking them to do it only to see that they do not know-how. Think of how frequently email or text exchanges lead to misunderstandings… Modeling across multiple channels conveys context and minimizes these frustrations for the teacher/coach and the student/player.
With every stance, step, visual target, strike point, block, and scheme taught at the Alercio Oline Clinics, players in attendance see me demonstrate the drill prior to them executing it. This process repeats with every new learned task. We come together for players and coaches to witness me modeling the drill then they break up into smaller groups for execution. Clinic Assistant Coaches further reinforce the modeling, clarifying and confirming concepts, expectations, and understanding.
Don’t just tell players what you want them to do. Show them the way. Give them a rich, clear, and full “model” in their mind to rely on and reference.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!