Games based approach.

Is a games based approach a good idea or bad idea? In this blog post I am going talk about this and reflect on both games based approach and the traditional approach.

Throughout my years playing football coaches just do simple things to make it easier for them but most definitely boring for us. A normal training session on a Wednesday night for Jordan Burkill.

Traditional method

  • Warm up – run around the pitch a couple of times until your warm
  • Dynamic and static stretches
  • Running drills with the ball – in and out of cones. (Boring and old fashioned)
  • More drills with progressions.
  • 10 minute game which coaches don’t relate back to drills ect.

The coaches always are not prepared so sometimes we are waiting around for drills ect to be set up this is wasting valuable time as you only get 1 hour. Also your body and muscles go cold so it is hard to get back into the intensity that they want you playing at. Changing the warm up and activities each week would seek improvements mostly mental because you would enjoy it more as it’s not the same each week. For example running around the pitch could include passing a ball around between the team. This is only a small change but players star to communicate with each other so you are working on things which you wouldn’t normally be within a warm up. The traditional method is a repetitive approach you are not asking the player to go and learn something they are just being told what to do.

Lets talk about games based approach and it’s advantages over the traditional approach. First of all I found this quote “Game based approach style ‘maintains the fun of playing by either scaling the game down for success or placing players into commonly encountered situations’ (Elderton, 2002)” Reflecting on this I think it’s massively important that you enjoy the sport you play and this approach allows you to do that and not be bored. You can learn new skills or techniques in a different in a game based environment. This is important because everything happens on a for a match day. Whether that be improving on what has just happened or trying something different for the following match day.

The games approach is taught using a four-step process: (Human Kinetics)

  1. Play a modified game.
  2. Help the players discover what they need to do in order to play the game successfully.
  3. Teach the skills of the game.
  4. Practice the skills in another game.

This is a good idea for coaches now because not only is it more enjoyable for the participants you seek the improvements and benefits. Children are now joining clubs at a very young age from the age of 5 years old and sometimes it is a challenge for coaches to invent different games or skills for children to play at such a young age. So this is a good approach because it helps them simplify the games and start gradually adding things in. This then gives the child confidence and then they would want to return to the club. At this young age it is important that the coach breeds confidence throughout the team and gives them motivation that they are doing well The child might not be able to play the sport but they have to put things in place such as a skill score where they get points if they do a certain skill correctly within the game. Then when they get older you try and develop them as a player. It comes gradually remember! You don’t get in a car for the first time and drive it straight away. It just doesn’t happen.

Games based approach also improves how players look and think about the game. The traditional approach doesn’t provide the learning or the game sense. The experience that players get from this helps them learn and evaluate on there performance. The games based approach is asking the participant to learn something for themselves to a certain extent with some guidance from the coach. It is important that the coach intervenes if they are doing something wrong so they can correct their mistake.

In conclusion there will be many coaches for games based approach and many others against this. I believe that a coach should know his team and participants and should know how to get them performing to there best of their ability also their to make sure they are enjoying the session. Remember not to be boring as a coach try and be creative and imply this into your sessions. You will see the benefits.


Reference List:

Elderton, W. (2002) MOVING TO A GAME-BASED APPROACH. Available at: (Accessed: 18th February).


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