Topic 6 – Provide demonstrations

Provide Demonstration

When coaching skills, demonstration is just as important, if not more important than the instruction itself.  As mentioned previously, studies show that 80% of material retention is from visual representation, while only 20% is from audibly receiving the same information.  While demonstration is essential for many players’ understanding, if it is done incorrectly, it would do more damage, since people retain visual inputs more than audible inputs.  

Demonstration is only effective if all players can see and hear the coach.  If the coach is positioned incorrectly, players may not interpret the demonstration correctly and therefore do the drill incorrectly.  Some players may not see the drill at all.  To ensure the coach is positioned correctly they should first ensure that all players are spread out and have the correct line of sight to the activity. 

Coaches should also make sure that all players can hear them, an audible aid to a visual demonstration could be helpful.  Providing the demonstration from multiple angles will also increase the players’ understanding of the material.  Coaches can provide the demonstration from multiple angles by having the players move around to different spots around the court, and showing the drill multiple times.  These three aspects of drill demonstration could increase the effectiveness of the drill.

It is essential that the demonstration is accurately shown.  To ensure that the demonstration will be done accurately during practice, coaches should practice beforehand if necessary.  Some coaches lack the athletic ability to demonstrate some drills.  When the coach is unable to perform, they should have top players demonstrate the drill, while the coach audibly instructs them and the rest of the team.  Many aspects of basketball skills are unique to each person, for example, shooting forms, or dribbling styles.  If only one person shows the demonstration, players could think that there is only one way to do an activity.  Having multiple demonstrators will encourage players to be creative and exploratory.  For example, when shooting a basketball it is possible to have both a unique and correct shooting form.  Demonstrations must be shown accurately or they could do harm to a players progression and retention.  Coaches should do whatever possible to ensure the drill is shown to players correctly, even if it means not demonstrating the drill themselves.

Checking for understanding is also necessary for demonstrations.  Players may need the demonstration to be shown multiple times.  It is more important that players understand the drill, than moving quickly through practice, which could hurt the players’ understanding.  Checking for understanding of demonstrations is similar to checking for understanding of audible instruction.  Checking for understanding of a demonstration is essential because again, if the demonstration is misunderstood, it could be detrimental to players.

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