Questioning in Game-centeredApproaches

Developing Questioning in Game-centeredApproaches

Developing Questioning in Game-centeredApproaches is an article written by Stephen Harvey, Edward Cope & Ruan Jones in 2016. The journal expounds in-depth perspectives that are pertinent to Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Critical questions that have been hampering the success of game activities over time have been explicitly and wittily handled. The authors have done extensive research and have employed several examples and models to drive the point home.

Over time, Game-Centered Approaches (GCA) have not found widespread practice and meaning among teachers and coaches due to misapprehension orslight understanding of the whole concept (Stephen et al. 2016).The three authors in this journal take the reader back in the days when Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) was proposed by early researchers such as Rod Thorpe, David Bunker, and Len Almond 1986.According to Stephen et al. (2016), the TGfU theory emphasized the importance of game structure in helping students understand the importance of game tactics, long before the skill excursion. The model has, however, been revised and concepts added to offer teachers or coaches effective coaching pedagogies that putlearners’ needs and interests at the center of everything.

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The article by Stephen et al. (2016) heavily on the research done by their predecessors. This does not demean there work, but instead, it gives them a sense of authenticity on the ideas presented.  The article reviews the concepts that have been existing before and consequently analyzing the strengths and flaws found within those texts. The critique done is not primarily about fault-finding, but it is aimed at deciphering ideas and methods by which teaching and coaching of games could be improved holistically.

Perhaps the most crucial part of this work is its ability to elaborate the concepts of questioning specifically and more so the effectiveness of questioning methods during games activities. The trio provides three questioning methods that are important in games. These methods, according to Stephenet al. (2016), include; the debate of ideas, the GROW model, and the reflective toss. Empirically, these questioning methods offer a more dynamic approach whereby learners themselves are at the center stage of learning. It does this by showcasing the relationship between the two learning perspectives, which include physical and motor learning perspectives as well as cognitive and constructive learning perspectives. These concepts on GCA discussed by Stephenet al. (2016) are also echoed by (Cushion 2013).

Application of GCA to Football Game

GCA is not only important in laying out theoretically what should be done, but its concepts are applicable in day to day life of a footballer. Many coaches and teachers, at times, get discouraged when they fail to connect with the students’ needs during the game efficiently. The concepts of questioning in GCA, therefore, help the couch or the teacher to discover the utmost needs of the players. The coach also will effectively structure questions that are crucial in developing tactical awareness and critical thinking of the learners during gameplay.

On the other hand, GCA concepts have huge potentials in improving the players’ game performance. Through GCA, one’s cognitive learning of a game is made effortless since the body and the mind are made to interact. The article indicates the relationship between the cognitive processes of the player and his/her actual execution during gameplay.

During complex game situations, decision making is made effective with game knowledge. For instance, during soccer gameplay, one might find himself/herself in a fix on when to make a pass. One might be having excellent skills on how to make a short pass using the inside of his/her foot but fails to give out timely passes. It is, therefore, clear that the GCA approach provides more quality game information to the player who is crucial in decision making. This includes both technical and tactical components of the football game. One gets to understand the knowledge of the opponents as well as learning about his/her abilities in a particular game. GCA, therefore, provides the necessary knowledge to the player to make accurate decisions based on the situation at hand.

The three questioning methods provided by Stephenet al. (2016)are important in many ways, especially to players. The player gets to know the basics of every game. For instance, in football, one has to understand the configuration of play or the relative positioning of players for the two teams. This knowledge guide the player on the movements he/she has to make. Other than facilitating the adjustments on and off the ball movements, the player will always have an opportunity to explain the reasons why he/she made that movement. For instance,if in a football game one runs towards the partial forefront level instead of attacking a potential threat at the primary level (even if this could not be the best of the moves), the teammates will understand that the particular player had a working idea in his mind. This way, there will be a sense of cooperation and enjoyment throughout the gameplay.

It is also prudent to recognize the social function of the questioning approaches.  It is observable that social interaction in football games has become more efficient since players are encouraged to communicate with other players as well as teachers and coaches. This kind of interaction has helped learners to share their experiences in the game, and this kind of interaction has consequently increased the game knowledge and tactics applicable to soccer. One can observe the significant improvement in football college teams who apply a GCA approach.

In conclusion, the impacts that this article on Game Centered Approaches have on players or students cannot be ignored. The information on the articlehelps teachers and coaches to know their part in improving players’ game performance. Their job is to facilitate and modify the environment as well as the practice condition toheights that can foster game learning. The article is great due to its applicability; however, further research must be conducted to discover other methods of improving game performance as a whole.


Cushion, C. J. (2013). Applying game centered approaches in coaching: A critical analysis of the ‘dilemmas of practice’ impacting change. Sports coaching review, 2(1), 61-76.

Stephen Harvey, Edward Cope & Ruan Jones (2016) Developing Questioning

in Game-centered Approaches, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 87:3, 28-35,

DOI: 10.1080/07303084.2015.1131212

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