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Vashon Soccer

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Jun, 2021

Decision Making in Sports

I read a great article on decision making in sports. It is a long article and is about baserunning in baseball, but the conclusion is directly related to how we develop our youth in any sport. It takes a while to get to the part I like best, but it is worth the read. The section related to youth sports is called "The way home".

The general concept is that we are no longer teaching decision making in youth sports. The kids used to play and now they only practice. The tradeoff is that young players will develop specific skills more quickly as they tend to have more targeted skill practice and more feedback and guidance, but when they inevitably encounter edge case scenarios, they lack the ability to process information in the abstract and make a good decision in the moment.

The upshot is that we need to introduce more games in our practices, and more importantly, we need to stop telling our young players what decisions to make. Instead, we create scenarios for them to learn - adjust the field size, adjust the victory conditions, and then let the players decide which actions lead to success.

This scenario seems like it will be much slower, and it is, but the end result is smarter players who had more fun getting there.

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Vashon High School Stadium (02:23 PM | 07/19/20)

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VES (The Harbor School) (03:43 PM | 06/10/21)

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McMurray Middle School (02:23 PM | 07/19/20)

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VHS Practice Field (02:23 PM | 07/19/20)