«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»
From a psychomotor perspective, the other main programme is TOPS. This card and equipment-based resource facilitates the development of sport-related tasks. Training is offered for the use of these resources, which provide sessions and practices for various age groups. There is a variety of differences between this approach and the one used in the DPYPS programme. Specifically, the research underpinnings of the programmes are, at least as far as we can discern, very different. The Basic Moves programme (which forms the foundations of our psychomotor intervention) is based on ongoing and published research, with a clear empirical rationale. We are unaware of the similar basis for TOPS. The original TOPS programme had no curriculum, although the later revision has. Finally, and most crucially, TOPS offers a series of sessions whilst DPYPS provides activities within a logical structure, encouraging users to be more professionally autonomous. Of course, TOPS has certain strengths and advantages over the DPYPS scheme, and a structured integration of the two would seem to us to offer an excellent way forward.
The use of psycho-behavioural aspects in context as used by DPYPS is completely unique. Previous texts have offered self-tutorials for young athletes; the work of John Hogg (1997) in swimming is the best example of this. Other programmes (for example the ‘Life Skills through Sport’ approach developed by Steve Danish and colleagues, (1997) have used physical activity and sport psychological skills as the basis for personal development. However, our development of the psychological characteristics of excellence through, and in association with, physical skills is original, particularly at the young ages typical within DPYPS.
Finally, the parallel emphasis of pedagogy which runs through the provider training, is based on UK Sports Institute (UKSI) sponsored research with both elite and development coaches.
4.2 ‘Consumer’ Perceptions of the Resources 4.2.1 Overview of the Data Collection During the interviews conducted at the conclusion of the DPYPS programme, teachers were asked to reflect on the appropriateness of both the resources they had been provided with and the training they received. Data collection on this aspect was limited to the teachers, as they were the group mainly, and almost exclusively, involved with their use. This section provides an overview of the comments made by the teachers regarding the psychomotor and psycho-behavioural resources.
The interviews were conducted collaboratively by the research team. Each interview lasted 40-90 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.
Following the transcription of the interviews, the raw data for the three pilot clusters 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.
4.2.2 Psychomotor Resources All teachers reported that they liked the psychomotor resources which had been provided.
I think the actual materials which we’ve got, the PE section, the physical side of it look absolutely exceptional and they have been worked with for the last 10 or 15 weeks and they are excellent. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Following through from these universally positive comments, a range of reasons was
provided for these positive comments concerning the psychomotor resources:
• The resources cater for different levels (100%).
I think the [psychomotor stuff] is very clear, it’s easy to follow and you can see that there is a progression coming through... it is adaptable to the needs of your own particular group of children. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) It [the psychomotor curriculum] starts off rather simple for them [Primary 7 children] but then they take over and they adjust it, you know if you are asking them to do a sequence or something they bring in far more complicated work than a child that’s maybe in Primary 4. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster)
• The resources help evaluate the motor abilities of children (40%).
I liked it [the psychomotor resource]. I loved the cards because they gave you guidance on how to evaluate skills, which of course is really important for me in my assessment. They gave you pointers on what to look out for, say, in running, sort of common pointers in running that were incorrect and what to do about it. They gave you guidance on extension tasks and how you could apply them. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) There were a lot of skills that were really broken down on the cards, like the running. How do you improve someone’s running? You watch them and they don’t run well but you don’t know how, as a teacher, to break it down and improve it. Whereas, on the [psychomotor] cards, it actually says what you should be looking for, so you then know, oh they’re doing this wrong. We’ve never really been taught, if you even think back to your own childhood, did anyone ever tell you how to run or jump? You could either do it or you couldn’t. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster)
• The activities within the psychomotor resources can be linked to sport specific development (27%).
It’s great. I’ve started planning for next term and I’ve started to look at the cards [the psychomotor cards] that I’m going to be using. I’m also going to link that into the athletics we are going to be doing next term.
(Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) As a teacher you can see what sport the [psychomotor] activities within DPYPS relate to even though the games and things are completely different … I thought that was very good. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I love TOP play and I love the cards. They are very user friendly but they tend to concentrate on the application of the skills, assuming that children have got the basic skills. So in that respect, I think the DPYPS programme was better because it focused on getting competency within the basic skills. So having both programmes is good for me because it means that you can use the two things together. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster)
• The psychomotor cards were easy to use (34%).
The actual cards themselves, as a teacher I find them extremely easy to follow. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I thought it [the psychomotor curriculum] was absolutely excellent.
Absolutely excellent. I liked the simplicity of it. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) The psychomotor cards are easy from a teacher’s point to use. They are amendable which is good as some of them are too simplistic. (Primary school teacher from North Ayrshire cluster) The [psychomotor] lessons, you know, are good. They’re easy to follow, the cards are good. The ideas that … [the seconded teacher] … has given me just by watching him are good, all the lessons he did are straightforward. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster)
• Activities detailed within the psychomotor resources only require basic equipment (20%).
I don’t think anything can be improved with the resources … what I’ve looked at so far, I’m quite happy with them. Everything seems to be pretty straightforward. Also, the equipment is easily accessible, there’s nothing that you can’t get hold of to use. It’s basic things like footballs and that type of stuff, which every school has. So far, I don’t think there’s a problem. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) The psychomotor work cards were something I really liked … they cater for everything and all the equipment that we need is there in school.
(Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) You weren’t asking us to do anything that we did not have equipment for, and that was important. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster)
• The resources provide a structure and focus for physical development (80%).
I just think the cards [within the psychomotor curriculum] themselves give a structure for the teacher to use, to fall back on, particularly if they’ve got a few skills themselves in PE. It gives you a new resource and keeps you focused on the elements you are supposed to be focused on. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) These are actually quite good [the resources]. But, before that, I had no resources at all. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) From my point of view, it’s a structured programme which I can follow.
(Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Every single thing [in the psychomotor curriculum] has got a purpose.
Although they are doing this thing and it’s fun they are still using the skills. They are still striking and throwing and you know they all match to the task they have been given. (Primary school teacher from North Ayrshire cluster)
• The combined focus on cognitive and basic skills development (27%).
It [the psychomotor programme] is just making them [the children] more aware and not just saying ‘right, this is the skill’ but ensuring they know why they should do it and when to use it and it is important for them to be able to do that. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) The programme has also broken down the tactical stuff into steps just like it has the basic skills. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Additional evidence of the teachers’ approval for the psychomotor resources is the intention of all teachers (100%) to continue to use them as part of their PE sessions
even after the conclusion of the DPYPS programme:
I’ll certainly continue to use them for future classes, whether it’s at P7 level or younger. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) I will quite happily continue with the work that … [the seconded teacher] has been doing. I see a road now. Before, I saw a brick wall. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I definitely will continue to use the resources. Coming back to the fact that I now have an awareness of how important getting the basic skills is. So I would definitely use it [the programme]. I really appreciate that we got the opportunity to participate in this programme because I think the philosophy behind it makes a lot of sense and anything that helps develop your children’s skills is definitely worthwhile and I think it really did help develop the children’s skills. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I would continue to use the resources even if the programme was discontinued … because it’s a reference … we were always talking about trying to find a new resource and we’ve looked at various things but they all tend to be much of a muchness and I think that if you can allow children to enjoy something you have got them halfway there already. So I am being very positive but I’ve not actually found anything bad about it [the DPYPS programme], I’ve really quite enjoyed doing it with them. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) Whilst teachers were generally positive about the psychomotor curriculum, useful suggestions were also made on how the resources could be developed further.
Suggestions related to the density of the material provided on the cards (27%) and the value of having a visual resource that complemented the work cards (7%).
The only thing I did feel was they were too densely organised. They’re definitely not what you would call user friendly, you really have to study it and with an already overloaded curriculum and lots of things that I need to prepare for, that was a downside. So if the cards were less densely organised and more appealing. But I know it’s a pilot and the presentation is something that can be improved on. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Say you were doing gymnastics, you could maybe do with just highlighting the various skills that are being developed on a video and then showing the potential, the end aim. You could do the same with ball skills, for example. It was useful seeing … [the seconded teacher]...
work because I could take notes which I can understand better than reading a card of activities. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) The development of a visual resource to complement the work cards may have also
helped a teacher who stated that:
Some of them [the psychomotor] cards were good and some of them didn’t break down the activities enough. When you’ve been on the course and you’ve gone through a task, it was easy to see what the cards meant, but when you were actually using them, it wasn’t always as easy to work out what the actual activity was or how you were to do it. It takes a while to work out what they actually mean. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Relatedly, 36% of teachers highlighted how it takes considerable time to get used to the range of resources and therefore preparing a lesson can be a time-consuming process.
I think the resources are great and they’ve been useful but I’ve found it really time-consuming. It was ok the first ten lessons when you have help with that and you start to understand how to work it out but after that when you have covered all the sort of skills and then you go back and want to go over the throwing, striking and all the rest of it, you have such a lot of resources I think it takes longer to actually get used to it.