Teaching Games for Understanding - Invasion Games
Chunking is dividing large amounts of information into small chunks that can be retained in "working memory" so that a player or student is better able to focus on learning and play is dramatically improved.
Research studies show "working memory" is limited, for most individuals, to 4 chunks (pieces) of information that the individual can focus on at the same time. The range in chunking studies is between 3 and 5 chunks of information and varies by individual, maturity and the size of the chunks of information.
When too many chunks are presented to "working memory" or when the chunks presented to "working memory" are too large, an individual's focus goes into overload and performance suffers. Training in small logical sequential chunks improves retention, learning and match performance.
Bibliography: Current Directions in Psychological Science: 2010, Feb 1;19(1):51-57
Learning Fragments Teaches Match Creativity
"Where are all the plays and exercises I should be teaching my team in practices?" exclaimed an American soccer coach who grew up playing soccer for one of the most successful youth clubs in America and for a nationally ranked NCAA Division I university soccer program.
He was reviewing a Brazilian Futebol text and accompanying workbook looking for fully choreographed solutions that would improve his team's match play. Choreographed solutions work well on set pieces, but in the chaos of the game players and their teammates must to be able to read the game and together create solutions that best take advantage of the opportunities available.
Fragments are one, two and three player movements that players can quickly learn and then creatively use together in whatever sequence is best to be creative in match play. For example, making a blind side run when the opponent guarding (marking) you looks at the ball.
In this fragment the green player on the right side plays behind the red opponent guarding them, so the opponent can't see the ball and them at the same time. Then when the red player looks at the ball (light gray double line), the green player runs into the open space (green solid line) and their teammate passes the ball to them (broken green line).
Over 100 Learning Fragments Teach Creative Play
Learning fragments quickly teach creative game concepts. In research studies players who view drawings, animations and video clips prior to practices learn faster and play significantly better. In one recent study in Europe, players who watched tactical videos for 15 minutes a day, 3 days a week for only 4 weeks improved their speed of decision making in games by 80ms over players who only practiced tactical decision making in team practices and a control group who didn't watch videos or practice tactical decision making in practices.
Bibliography: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: 2008, Nov, 22(6): 2027-35
Coaches and Teachers are Essential for Learning
While game fragments introduce game concepts, coaches are essential in teaching the who, what, when, where and how of fragments. That is why each fragment is introduced on an instructors page with coaching points, notes and progressions for that fragment.
The instructors page for each fragment also includes a link to the player page for that fragment. Player pages feature diagrams, animations and/or video clips with brief player level instruction only. There are no links to other pages, no ads and no distractions on player pages
Players are assigned a login / password to access the pages assigned to them. Instructors assign links to the pages they want their players to visit by email or as a link on a club, age group, team or class webpage. See the Membership link under the Home navigation tab for more information.
Gender Specific Learning is More Effective
The Soccer Development Center features gender specific diagrams, animations and videos. Research studies show males learn fastest when viewing diagrams, animations and video clips of male role models, while females learn fastest viewing diagrams, animations and video clips of female role models.
Bibliography: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: 2013, Dec 17;7:851
TGfU & Invasion Games
Online & at Home Exercises
Edited and Published 2 January 2018