Referencesteaching Games For Understanding

When you have a break between games, whether that’s the holidays or pre/post season, you have a chance to experiment with new ideas and coaching practices. One approach I have recently started using more and more is the TGFU approach originally introduced by Bunker and Thorpe (1982).

  1. Referencesteaching Games For Understanding People
  2. Referencesteaching Games For Understanding Strategies

At any level of education, some memorization of information is essential, but the mere transmission of knowledge is never an appropriate goal for a course or programme. Even in the most basic and introductory of courses, expected learning outcomes should emphasize, at least, comprehension and application o.

Referencesteaching Games For Understanding

Referencesteaching Games For Understanding People

  1. The students will explore the concepts of balance, counterweight and stability. The students will become familiar with and use the vocabulary as they participate in the activities to balance.
  2. I found many maths games could either be extended or simplified, and with Education Assistant support, I delivered a range of games that could be delivered at each student’s level of understanding. I also chose games that were appealing in some way, even allowing students to create some of their own games, and then play them.
Referencesteaching Games For Understanding

I have never tried to simply teach skills or instruct drills in training sessions, I have always tried to implement those concepts and skills that I wanted the participants to learn in game scenarios or ways that will help them understand the game better and make decisions on their own. However the TGfU approach emphasises those same views within a 6 step model as pictured below.


Figure 1 – TGfU Model

Halle (in Light and Butler, 2005: 247) states that teaching games for understanding ”allows students to think for themselves, to figure it out for themselves. It’s real learning that involves making choices and decisions and making better ones with experience.”

At first I used this approach in sections of training sessions and over time found that the participants learning of skills and knowledge of the game quickly improved more when they were able to use those skills and make those decisions in game like scenarios. As a coach you can try to explain what are the correct decisions, describe and demonstrate those choices but there is no better way for the performers to learn that than to allow them to try and develop that for themselves through participating in sport.

Put your performer in a game where it requires them to think on their feet, problem solve and make the right choice without the coaches instruction and that is how players can gain useful skills. Skills that aren’t generated in drills but in games, so when performers are put in more pressured situations like a game against another team they will be able to make those same problem solving decisions.

Referencesteaching Games For Understanding Strategies

The TGfU approach is definitely one I will continue to try to apply in my training sessions, and hopefully it will continue to help develop perfomers’ understanding, knowledges and skills within sport.


Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU), [Homepage of Teaching Games for Understanding]. [Online]. Available: [April, 25th, 2015].

LIGHT, R. and BUTLER, J., 2005. A personal journey: TGfU teacher development in Australia and the USA. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 10(3), pp. 247.