Richard Shuttleworth: Understanding the Learner and the Learning Process (Notes from a Kobe Bryant interview)

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Richard Shuttleworth is someone who I am lucky enough to consider a colleague and a friend. When I started to become curious about skill acquisition and coaching from a more academic/theoretical perspective, it was Rick’s many articles and various social media video clips/presentations that helped me to bridge my own personal research-practice gap. In the last few years I have had the pleasure of presenting theory and practice together with Rick at various seminars and symposiums. Most of his work is associated with Rugby but Rick has vast experience of working in other sports such as Olympic sailing, soccer, archery and land hockey. As a world-renowned coach, coach educator and skill acquisition expert Rick’s insights are of great value to any coach at any level in any sport.

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This week Rick and I discussed an excellent interview with ex NBA star Kobe Bryant. I suggested that Rick should comment on the interview and that we make his notes publically available on my blog. I am very happy that he agreed to share his personal notes on how we as coaches can gain a greater understanding of the learner and the learning process.

Advice from KOBE BRYANT | Skill Learning & Coaching | Shared Opportunities | Think Global & Play Local | Spice it Up | Basic Tactical Actions to Problem Solve

 

Advice from KOBE BRYANT | Skill Learning & Coaching | Shared Opportunities | Think Global & Play Local | Spice it Up | Basic Tactical Actions to Problem Solve

Rick’s Notes

  • Stresses importance of valuing anecdotal evidence of a true legend of the game as to what is important for a learner to experienceso they can develop the skills and learn to use them to achieve their aspirations and dreams.

 

  • Don’t always try and impose your perspective and realism of the world or situation and what excellence is, simply try and observe and listen to the learners’ behaviour (interpretation of) and in it which determines how you guide 

 

  • Importance of learning simple tactical actions through socially fun task related interactions(under constraint) to amplify the skills needed to solve problems now and potentially for the future demands of the game. (see example here)

 

  • Embrace your own and your learners’ curiosity, imagination in everything we do so that learner learns to authentically move, feel, express and perceive the world and situation for what they think it really is (transfer effect).

 

  • Learn when to get out of the wayof the learning process (as a coach) enable the emergence of self-determining learning moments through learner-task-environment interactions and don’t feel you need to manufacture them,

 

  • Support learning by passing on ideas to receive their read on it and use questions to support their tactical thinking of how it can provide opportunities.

 

  • Never be condescending or abusivein delivering information to learners as it only reveals your own personal frustration with your inability to facilitate learning.

 

  • Support learners with skills to pick up relevant informationfrom everyone around, team mates, opponents, other coaches, teachers, friends and parents and use to better your own capabilities.

 

Two other things worth knowing about Rick:

  1. He has just completed his PhD so now he is Dr. Rick!!! So, a big congratulations.
  2. He is crap at pub quizzes.