Our Games Promotion Officer is Will Lillis and he has been with Cluain Tarbh since 2019.
Will is originally from Cluain Tarbh but prior to becoming the GPO here he was on the other side of St. Anne's Park with neighbours Raheny.
Will works intensively with local schools and our nursery as well as supporting the club’s own mentors and players. Will is always available to talk with parents whose children are interested in becoming involved with Gaelic games at the club.
You can contact Will by email email@example.com
Setting a Mastery climate! !
In my professional role as a games promotion officer for the club, the factors which motivate children to play sport is of huge interest to me. An athletes behaviour in achievement situations is a consequence of their perception of success in different contexts. This is known as achievement goal theory. This basically means that different people judge success in different ways. For some children, success may being able to finally master soloing the football, for others it may be about soloing the ball better than anyone else. The task may be the same, but inside the child’s head, the measure of success is different. ! !
When children judge their success only in comparison to others, it is known as ego orientated behaviour. Now lets be honest, we have all taken satisfaction at some stage in our lives about being the best at something, but is this the type of environment we want to coach the children in? Their goals will be to perform better than their peers, rather than self development. This leads them to only want them to practice activities in which they feel they can dominate, and puts them off trying new skills as they are afraid of failing. And we add to this all the time in the way they communicate with children. Questions like ‘did you win?’ or ‘did you score any goals?’, lead the child to believe that these are the barometer for success. ! !
The coaching climate we expose them to heavily influences their perception of success. So instead of asking how many goals did you score, next time try ‘Did you enjoy the game?’, ‘how many strikes with your weak side did you get?’, ‘did you try anything new today?’. Now we have just shifted the emphasis onto fun and skills. Its called mastery orientated behaviour when a child judges success as self improvement. If you can create this mastery climate, kids will want to improve their skills and learn new ones. They won’t be afraid to make mistakes, their enjoyment levels will increase, and they will be highly motivated to continue playing their sport.! !
How do we do this? Its easy! !
• Set moderately difficult activities for your players - not too hard, not too easy!
• Give specific individual feedback to your players - know all their names!!! Don’t just focus on the very strong or very weak!
• Have short-term, realistic goals to allow players to see progress - like a computer game, they all want to get to the next level!
• Let them have a small part in deciding what you do in training - pick a warm up game, pick partners, etc, this can increase as they get older!
• Encourage your players to try new things, don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
• Don’t focus on winning, focus on performance - set players goals in games, i.e. touch the ball 3 times every ten mins, try a shot with your weak side, etc! !
Now this won’t change players overnight. Start implementing some of these things and see what works best for your particular group. You know your players better than I do. But if we can switch some of their emphasis from winning to enjoyment and skill development, then
we are sowing the seeds of change.! !
Yours in Sport! !