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«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»

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Problem = catch the ball as quickly as possible and send for distance Catch ball from feeder and use an over-arm throw, for example, to reach long receiver Variations: Vary feed (distance, direction, pace), increase distance of target, throw to moving target, alternate hands

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THE PROBLEM/SOLUTION: Get the children into pairs/groups and ask them to think of reasons why they would need to be able to send for distance (e.g., only free team-mate is far away, to get the ball away from own goal/basket quickly, to score) Figure 3.2: An example Level Two work card from the psychomotor curriculum. It suggests activities and highlights critical features and common developmental problems.

3.1.4 Psycho-behavioural Development As highlighted in Section 2, a range of psycho-behavioural factors has been associated with individuals who successfully develop into elite performers in sport (McAffrey & Orlick, 1989; Gould, Damarjian, & Medbery, 1999), or indeed across performance domains (Talbot-Honeck, & Orlick, 1998; McDonald et al., 1995). Figure

3.3 highlights these factors.

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Figure 3.3: Psycho-behaviours associated with successful development in sport.

The structure and content for the psycho-behavioural curriculum within the DPYPS programme emerged from this work and includes a series of practical exercises to help promote these behaviours. Recognising that students interpret psycho-behavioural concepts at their own level of growth and development, the activities are presented developmentally both across and within three levels to allow them to be matched to

students’ capabilities:

Level One: Encourages children to realise their level of competence and to self reinforce.

Level Two: Encourages children to begin to take responsibility for their own • development.

Level Three: Encourages children to aspire to excellence by achieving autonomous • development.

In order to understand how the psycho-behavioural curriculum would work in practice, exemplars of imagery activities at each of the three levels are presented below.

Level One imagery. At the foundation level, the imagery section presents practical tasks that promote the use of imagery and highlights how imagery, if used alongside practice, can help build confidence and improve performance (see Figure 3.4).

Using Imagery to Improve Confidence and Performance Part one Pupils look at the star shape below and ‘image’ following the route to draw the star successfully in one movement. The pupils are told to have a go drawing the star and reflect on how imagery helped.

Part two Pupils watch a video of an athlete who is imaging running around a slalom course (the Illinois agility run) and then reflect on the athlete’s use of imagery.

The pupils then image successfully completing the slalom course below before running the slalom course and reflecting on whether imagery helped them.

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Figure 3.4: Example of a Level One psycho-behaviour activity designed to promote imagery.

Level Two imagery. At Level Two, the imagery section presents practical tasks that promote the use of controlled imagery during practice and competition. For example, one of the objectives of this level is to highlight to children the power of imagery before encouraging them to consider how imagery could be applied to a sport or hobby (see Figure 3.5).

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Use imagery to learn and then perform either the dance sequence highlighted on the back of this worksheet or your own dance sequence.

Figure 3.5: A sample Level Two psycho-behaviour activity designed to promote imagery.

Level Three Imagery. Level Three is a sport specific level that provides coaches with guidance on how to promote the psycho-behaviours developed at level one and two within their sport specific context. As an example, coaches reflect on the behaviours athletes in their sport need in order to show they use controlled imagery (i.e. what will we see your athletes doing during training and competition to show they have these skills?) (Column 1, Table 3.2). Systems and coach behaviours that can be employed to promote imagery use within athletes are then developed (Columns 2 & 3, Table 3.2).

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Summary The DPYPS programme places considerable emphasis on the development of psychobehaviours that underpin both successful development in sport and the adoption of a physically active lifestyle. It is essential to the success of the DPYPS programme that it is recognised that the psycho-behaviours should be promoted alongside the psychomotors with links being made explicit rather than the two curricula being conducted in isolation.

3.1.5 Implementing and Piloting the DPYPS Programme

The DPYPS programme was piloted within two areas of Scotland, North Ayrshire and Stirling. Within North Ayrshire, the programme was piloted within one secondary school and five feeder primary schools. Within Stirling DPYPS was piloted within two clusters, Bannockburn and Balfron. The Bannockburn cluster had one secondary school and five primary schools involved whilst the Balfron cluster had one secondary school and six primary schools involved. Sport specific coaches from each area were also invited to a workshop that set out to explain the programme and to provide them with the knowledge to continue the philosophy of the programme into their own sport specific context. It was hoped that this process would promote a coherent system throughout sport development processes. The method of programme implementation at each level is highlighted below.

Primary School Implementation All children within a chosen year (normally Primary 7) were involved in the DPYPS programme and received one psychomotor and one psycho-behavioural session a week. The psychomotor sessions replaced the traditional PE session received within the primary school for a period of at least ten weeks. The psycho-behavioural sessions were incorporated into the Personal and Social Development (PSD) programmes within the schools and ran for at least ten weeks. In the majority of schools, both the psychomotor and psycho-behavioural elements of the programme were taught by the same teacher.

We hoped that this would enable the interaction between the two curricula to be fully exploited. However, in two schools, due to timetabling issues, the two elements of the programme were led by different teachers.

Those teacher(s) from each school who were identified as the individuals who would be delivering the DPYPS programme, were provided with four days of in-service training to learn about the philosophy of the programme and to be introduced to the methods and resources for both the psychomotor and psycho-behavioural curricula (see Section 4).

Although it was expected that the primary teachers would primarily be using Level One resources, they were also provided with knowledge of how to extend these activities and use Level Two resources if they thought it was appropriate. As well as receiving this training, ongoing support was also provided to these teachers throughout the piloting of DPYPS. Specifically, a specialist PE teacher was seconded to the programme to coordinate it within each area (i.e., North Ayrshire and Stirling) and to help with the planning and delivery of the psychomotor sessions. Initially, both the primary school teacher and the seconded teacher planned and team-taught the psychomotor session each week. However, as the primary school teacher became increasingly competent in, and confident of, using the DPYPS resources the seconded teacher gradually withdrew their support until the teacher led the planning and the delivery of the psychomotor sessions. The psycho-behavioural curriculum was planned and delivered by the primary school teacher from the beginning of the pilot although support was again available from the seconded teacher if required. All primary school teachers focused on the development activities within the Level One psycho-behavioural curriculum.

Secondary School Implementation

Year one and year two children within the three secondary schools involved in the piloting of DPYPS, were provided with an opportunity to attend a DPYPS club. The club involved attending two sessions a week, one where the focus was on psychomotor development and one where the focus was on psycho-behavioural development. These two sessions were either conducted at lunchtime or after school, and lasted between 40 and 60 minutes. The secondary school DPYPS clubs were run by the specialist PE teachers that had been seconded to the DPYPS programme and were designed to run for a minimum of ten weeks. As these children had not been involved in the DPYPS programme during primary school, a combination of the Level One and Level Two psychomotor resources and the Level One psycho-behavioural resource were employed by the seconded teachers.

3.1.6 Other Initiatives with Parallel Aims

Education, youth sport and physical activity promotion are all currently initiative-rich environments. Accordingly, given the diversity of approaches, resourcing levels, philosophies and methods, it seems sensible to have key initiatives at hand (see Appendices), offering a context for consideration of DPYPS and some basis for its critique. Where possible, we have used sportscotland’s own website as the source for information. Where necessary, this is alternated or supplemented by information we have collected, usually through direct contact with the programme providers. Detailed and critical consideration is not the role of this report. For the present purposes, however, readers should consider these various initiatives, in comparison/contrast to DPYPS against various characteristics, including resources, empirical/theoretical support, consequent philosophy, and the logic of the objective – methodology – content – evaluation chain. Two things are very clear, however. There is a lot of money and a dearth of co-ordination in this crucial area; a feature, which our wider research seems to suggest, is a British rather than a purely Scottish phenomenon!

3.2 Consumer Perceptions of the Methodology Adopted 3.2.1 Overview of the Data Collection A qualitative research method was employed at the conclusion of the pilot project to investigate the perceptions of those individuals who had been involved in the coordination and delivery of the DPYPS programme. This section relates to comments made by these individuals regarding the methodology adopted within DPYPS.


The interviews were conducted collaboratively by the research team. Each interview lasted between 40 and 90 minutes, and all the interviews were completed within a one month period. No data were collected prior to establishing rapport and trust with the interviewees. This was accomplished by being candid with the interviewees and reassuring them that the purpose of the interview was not to evaluate their performance, but to gain an understanding of their perceptions of the DPYPS programme and how it could be improved. The interviews, which were semi-structured, were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

Data Analysis

Following the transcription of the interviews, the raw data for the three pilot regions were arranged in text units, and were then analysed using qualitative inductive methods based on open codes, emerging themes, and emerging categories (Miles & Huberman, 1994). The emerging codes were then arranged into themes that were based on the converging responses of a number of participants to minimise the effects of personality and other individual differences, thus leading to the identification of common patterns.

As before, consistent themes are presented under sub-headings for greater clarity.

3.2.2 Local Authorities Content Seems Appropriate The previous section demonstrated that the Local Authorities were very happy about the parallel development of psychomotor and psycho-behavioural elements. In terms of actual content of these resources, it was seen as critical that they provided a developmental and flexible curriculum with content to allow a wide variety of children to be catered for regardless of level of ability. Furthermore, it was noted that it was imperative to show the teachers how these cards developed concepts into progressions to allow them to understand the thought process of teaching physical education.

If you don't teach them that, it's like saying ‘can you write that sentence?’ but I'm not going to tell you what the letters are. You have to have the basic movement vocabulary….. They need psychomotor skills.

Also show them some practices that would lead up to those cards, some progressions. So instead of just giving them a resource, you actually take them into a thought process. So I think that's where we were looking for the resources in the project to be a useful vehicle for doing that. It can't just be the resources on their own. It has to be good in-service in whatever form.

The Local Authorities acknowledged that the style of presentation that DPYPS utilised was harder to work with than a pre-prepared lesson curriculum. Furthermore, they commented that the actual skills were not new, but that the design was. It was this design that was key. The benefits of developing people as more thoughtful and more knowledgeable teachers was worth the effort and it is acknowledged as a key method of getting effective results.

It's hard to work with. And it does take a lot of time to develop but giving people that sort of tool is better than sending them away with cards and saying ‘it's up to you to find that. It's up to you to come in with the practices that will lead into that’. If you make them better, if you make them more thoughtful, if you make them more knowledgeable then you will have a better outcome.

We tend to focus very much on the content. We should actually give people mechanisms and understanding so that when they see something going wrong they know it's wrong and they have an ear, and a memory bank of ‘OK … that happened before and the practice I did was this or the piece of information I gave the kid was that’. Now that's a huge job for primary teachers to get to that level.

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