Soccer Practice: Why storytelling matters!

Soccer-Views visual education
Learning is a physical activity that requires all of our senses and capabilities. Denying the importance of any single sense, then, limits the depth of what we learn. Many people think, however, that soccer players must spend time sharpening their sense of balance and foot/leg coordination, but they forget that players must simultaneously development their sense of:
  • Judgment
  • Interpersonal behaviors
  • Visual perception
  • Sound interpretation
  • . . . far more!

Modern education segregates information in modules, such as in "now we will read," or "now we will watch a video," followed by soccer drill practice, team practice, and actual games. What happens is that new learners often pay attention to just one or two out of many modules but fail to understand how all the separate parts actually represent a single set of coordinated behaviors.

Learning Soccer Through Story Telling

It might be more helpful to ask a developing soccer player to tell you about a mythical game in story form, rather than "what did you learn today." The act of storytelling draws all elements of the story's environment together, where as listing "things learned" separates them.

I'm sure every coach has stories to tell about drill practices based on experiences, but generally the athletes participating in the drills have nothing to say. It isn't that they don't have information, but they haven't been coached on how to draw it together.

You don't need to have a degree in teaching to find out more about the value of story telling in learning new skills. If you are a coach, consider integrating story telling into your drills and other team-building sessions, especially if those sessions are beginning to seem like drudgery. The article and personal story by Malcolm Lemmons (see below) might be particularly useful to you.


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