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Demonstrating a skill

Everybody has heard the old saying that a picture paints a thousand words. Demonstrating a new skill is an important component of coaching.

Tips for demonstrating a skill

  • Make sure all the participants can see the demonstration.  Be aware of distractions such as the sun, traffic or other groups.
  • The coach doesn't always have to do the demonstration. Other options include one of the players who you know can perform the skills, or a picture, diagram or video may help.
  • Ensure that the skill is demonstrated in the context of the game situation, so that participants understand ‘why’ as well as ‘how’ it is done.
  • Highlight the main points of the skill. Keep explanations simple and brief. Try not to emphasise more than two or three key points at a time.
  • Avoid pointing out things 'not to do' as this will only overload the players.
  • You can break the skill into separate components for the purpose of the demonstration, but ensure you demonstrate the complete skill at normal speed first and at the end.
  • Let the participants practice. New information stays with people for only a short period of time unless they are able to try the skill.
  • Verbal instructions are sometimes unclear - accompany verbal instructions with a complimentary visual.
  • Always show the correct skill last. If you are showing a player the difference between what they are doing and what you want them to do, demonstrate the correct skill after you have shown them their current method.

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Did you know?

Gold Coast 2018 is the 5th Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Australia.

Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.