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Games Approach to Teaching and Coaching Sport

Course Code: SPSC 3399
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

The games approach to teaching and coaching sports involves the use of game related activities to stimulate and motivate learning. The twin goals of improvement and personal satisfaction are emphasized jointly throughout the course. Students will learn creative, innovative and exciting ways to teach and coach, and will be able to design and implement learning activities that are enjoyable, challenging, inspiring and cognitively and physically demanding.

Course Content

1           Games approach theoretical concepts

1.1          Process and product orientation

1.2          Teaching games for understanding

1.3          Play-discuss-practice-play model

1.4          Traditional models and the role of the games approach

1.5          Modifying traditional approaches with the games approach

1.6          Applying the games approach in a variety of settings

1.6.1         Teaching

1.6.2         Coaching

1.6.3         Recreation leadership

1.6.4         Sport skills

1.6.5         Development camps

1.6.6         Playground


2           Games approach principles

2.1          Planning for effective play

2.2          Developing the sport sense

2.3          Skill development

2.4          Tactical development

2.5          Decision making and cognitive factors

2.6          Integration of mental skills into play

2.7          Applying games approach principles in other settings

2.8          Categories of the games approach

2.8.1         Defining and shaping psychomotor behaviour

2.8.2         Providing focus and attentional skills in games and activities

2.8.3         Performance enhancement through the games approach


3           Variables within the games approach

3.1          Modifying and changing variables to suit individual and group needs

3.2          Session plan models

3.3          Scoring systems

3.4          Rules and methods of ensuring the focus on process and execution

3.5          Designing activities to promote flow and a focus in the moment

3.6          Methods to enhance cognitive processes

3.7          Integration of decision training principles

3.8          Developing court sense or field sense (competition sense, game sense)


4           Pedagogical factors

4.1          Modification of traditional methods

4.1.1         Task approach

4.1.2         Social approach

4.1.3         Guided discovery

4.1.4         Learning progressions

4.1.5         Whole part whole and variations

4.1.6         Goal orientation

4.2          Planning and preparation

4.3          Quality and quantity of meaningful practice

4.4          Progression

4.5          Direct and indirect methods

4.6          Positive specific feedback

4.7          Questioning and guiding

4.8          Error detection and correction

4.9          Transferring responsibility from teacher/coach to student

4.10      Individualization

4.11      Group goal setting and planning

4.12      Pacing

4.13      Learning and performance differences


5           Specific applications

5.1          Invasive sports

5.1.1         Field

5.1.2         Court

5.1.3         Arena

5.2          Non invasive sports

5.2.1         Divided court games

5.2.2         Interactive court games

5.2.3         Striking games

5.3          Target events

5.4          Racing events

5.5          Artistic events

5.6          Combative sports

5.7          Fitness activities


6           Inclusion factors

6.1          Integration of students with varying abilities

6.2          Adaptations

6.3          Modifications


7           Planning

7.1          Activities

7.2          Warm-ups and cool downs

7.3          Groups or series of activities

7.4          Sessions

7.5          Units and microcycles


8           Role of the teacher and coach

8.1          Leader

8.2          Feedback

8.3          Motivation

8.4          Enjoyment

8.5          Fair play

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture
  • Discussion groups
  • Practical application
  • Field observation and/or video observation
  • Self-study via print or online materials
  • Reading assignments
  • Online discussion groups
  • Experiential Learning

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evauation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on:

Practical applications 20-30%
Resource project 15-25%
Midterm and final examinations 10-20%
Preparation & participation 10-20%
Practical leadership 20-30%

Learning Outcomes

  1. Design games activities for learning, enjoyment and performance.
  2. Apply games activities for learning, enjoyment and performance to practices, classes and competitions.
  3. Teach and coach both technical and tactical skills by using the games approach.
  4. Integrate physical and mental skills development, and personal and social responsibility through the use of the games approach.
  5. Demonstrate the inclusion of participants of all abilities through the use of the games approach.

course prerequisites

60 credits, AND

Criminal records check, AND

SPSC 2210, AND

SPSC 1311 or SPSC 1313 or SPSC 1314 or SPSC 1316 or SPSC 1317 or SPSC 1322 or SPSC 2321 or SPSC 2322 or SPSC 2323 or SPSC 2324 or SPSC 2325 or SPSC 2399

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.