Ohio University

Session Descriptions

An Introduction to Positive Pedagogy for Sport Coaching

In this presentation, Richard and Stephen outline the features of Positive Pedagogy (PPed), the theory and philosophy underpinning it and how coaches can use it to improve their coaching and think more deeply and effectively. Drawing on developments in coaching and teaching team sports over the past few decades for its core features, PPed is underpinned by a view of learning in and through sport as a holistic and humanistic activity. As with so many good ideas, little is actually new or revolutionary in PPed but, instead, it is a cluster of good ideas about athlete learning and making the experience positive.

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Using Positive Pedagogy in Youth Volleyball Coaching

Using Positive Pedagogy, Laura Costa dos Santos transformed her regional club volleyball team of 13-year olds. They went from little club experience to understanding common volleyball principles through an athlete-centered approach. With the use of small-sided games and an inquiry-based approach to learning, the team developed into empowered athletes who actively provided feedback to one another and the coach. They even tried their own strategies to win when put in a competitive environment. Success was found both on and off the court, and the athletes truly enjoyed the journey of learning volleyball and finding their own voice.

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Positive Pedagogy and its Application to the Sport of Baseball

Traditional baseball coaching involves using pedagogical strategies that incorporate block-like drills in batting practice, bullpen work, and position-specific defensive periods. Research has demonstrated that this approach may have lesser effects on athlete learning, motivation, creativity, and problem-solving in comparison to athlete-centered approaches such as positive pedagogy (PP). In this presentation, I highlight my experiences as a baseball coach with implementing a PP approach in the form of a small-sided game. I will then discuss the contents of the game and how it worked in practice. The presentation will conclude with reflections and considerations for implementing PP in the baseball context.

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Developing Program-Wide Coaching Philosophy Using Positive Pedagogy

Building on the book chapter Coaching Elite Level Field Hockey, which focused on Positive Pedagogy (PPed) at a team level, this session will explore how the principles of PPed might be used to inform programming at an organizational level. We will explore how frameworks and interventions implemented across all levels of the game from grass roots through to the junior national team program could be viewed, and reviewed, through a PPed lens and how the lessons learned may influence future practice in field hockey and other sports.

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Implementing Positive Pedagogy in Strength and Conditioning

The session will discuss the practicalities of positive pedagogies for strength and conditioning within a new coaching climate of physical distancing, increased medical supervision, and virtual learning. Critical discussion points will be posed to challenge coaches to think of new ways we can adapt to current pandemic restrictions while still being able to implement safe and effective strength and conditioning practices. Prepare to be actively engaged in establishing your own creative solutions pertaining to implementing positive pedagogies for strength and conditioning for your own team.

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Using Positive Pedagogy in Striking & Fielding Games

Mr. Hill will share how to apply the principles of Positive Pedagogy using a Teaching Games for Understanding/Game Sense approach within the theme of Striking & Field games, with an emphasis on using the game of Cricket as the vehicle for learning and understanding this teaching/coaching approach. He will highlight some of the successes you can have and the challenges you will face when using such an approach in your Physical Education lessons and/or Coaching sessions, particularly when you have novice and/or inexperienced pupils/players that know nothing about a particular game that you are trying to teach them.

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Applying Positive Pedagogy in Basketball Coaching with Two Different Age Groups

Dr. Pimenta will be presenting his experiences in New Zealand with implementing a Positive Pedagogy approach in two age groups: a high school team (Year 9 and 10) and a Women's basketball team (Canterbury Premier Women's Division). He will focus primarily on what he believed worked well and what he found was the most challenging while implementing this approach on both levels. Dr. Pimenta will also be providing some exercises that he used in order to make both of these teams understand the game better and how it helped create a positive and safe learning environment.

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Using Positive Pedagogy to Enhance Motivation and Overall Body Awareness in Gymnastics

In this presentation, Dr. Bianca de Aguiar will share her experiences of using Positive Pedagogy to enhance motivation and overall body awareness in gymnastics. In a sport where direct instruction is still very common, she will demonstrate how she was able to incorporate PPed to the strict plans she had to follow. Finally, she will emphasize how she was able to implement PPed differently, according to the groups she coached, the age group, and each athlete’s needs, giving practical examples.

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Providing a Positive Experience of Learning in Australian Football State-League Team

In this session, Dr. Pill will show the Game Sense approach as play with purpose and how considered this way, that the approach fits the description of a positive pedagogy. The Game Sense approach was envisaged, trialed, and evaluated in Australia from 1994-1996 to shift coaching at all levels, from beginner/novice through to elite/high performance, to what now might be called an athlete-centred perspective and the development of ‘thinking players.’ In Australia, the Game Sense approach positioned with the physical literacy strategy as the two elements making the Playing for Life philosophy of Australian sport.

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Question and Answer Session on Positive Pedagogy for Sport Coaching with Session Presenters

This Q and A will draw together the ideas form the presentations and give you the opportunity to ask further questions of the presenters, as well as Richard Light and Stephen Harvey.