For me as a coach effective questioning can be an extremely difficult process, knowing when, how and what type of questions to ask your players is an important coaching tool in terms of identifying your players learning process. “Teachers use questioning and discussion to assess the effectiveness of their teaching and promote pupils’ learning” (Ofsted, 2012).
i recently attended my ECB Level 2 Cricket coaching course of which ‘Questioning’ was a coaching tool which was highlighted on a regular basis as an important tool to use. Before the course questioning was something I thought i used well and on a regular basis in order to draw out thoughts and understanding from my players. The course gave me a different thought when focusing on questioning, before demonstration on a batting drill the coach educators used an example of giving players specific tasks such as “you 3 look at my hands, you three my feet and you three my head”. After demonstration they went round and questioned the players on what they thought they saw and why something may have looked like it did, for example “So you said my feet moved forward when playing the shot, why do you think this may help me?”. This form of questioning was not something I had ever thought of personally and links in nicely when performing a demonstration when relevant.
Questioning is a coaching tool I believe to sit high up in importance for me, it enables me to gain an understanding of what my players are thinking and how they are feeling which may lead to how they perform/act in a session/game. Although, this is a tool that will help me during coaching asking questions based around How has their day been? What did they do at school today? What have they had for tea?. The vast majority of the time these questions are asked by myself without even thinking as I am interested in each individual and how they are, which could lead into the way they may perform or act during my session if they have had a difficult day at school or have fallen out with someone at home. Which relates to the importance of knowing your players individually and how each individual learns and acts as I know for a fact each one of my players acts and performs differently during different situations.
When questioning I usually use open questions to my players, for me using open questions is the best way for me to understanding the learning that has taken place by my players. Using open questions will prompt a different answer from each individual, this relates to the comment by (Ursa. R, 2003) which he stated “Open questions are used to discover the responses that individuals give spontaneously”.Using open questions will allow players to give you detailed feedback on there thoughts and feelings. For example one question frequently is “What do you think you could have done differently?”. Rather than the players replying with a “YES” or “NO” answer the question requires them to recall previous events and gets them thinking about decisions they made and maybe things they could do differently if they did the same thing again.
When do you question them and Why question them?
I generally use questioning throughout my sessions, questioning players rather than giving them the answer will help to develop learners, players that think about things, plan for certain situations, know how to deal when they are put in certain scenarios and for me most importantly make decisions for themselves. Questions such as “How do you think that helped your team?” “What do you think to what just happened?” “Why did that just happen?” Asking these sorts of questions will help me to understanding what sorts of things my player is thinking about and why they are thinking what they are. If I don’t present my players with questions to get them thinking how do I actually know they are thinking? they might be trying to do something when your goal of the session is the complete opposite, so without questioning you could be in two complete different worlds. For me giving players the answers limits individual learning, by questioning you are giving them the equation but leaving them to solve the problem.
So i now know why i question my players, But why does questioning help me as a coach?
Well questioning as a coach helps me to gain an understanding of whether my players are understanding the aims and objectives of the session, it enables players to become more engaged with the session by allowing them to think for themselves about how they are doing things and why they are doing it. This will help to develop the players psychologically which relates to the FA’s 4 corner model with giving players the opportunity to develop as thinkers. As a coach if I am able to develop thinking players it will go a long way in creating players that are key decision makers, creative, leaders and develop them as people for the future.
1) Questioning to promote learning [Available at:] http://www.fromgoodtooutstanding.com/2012/05/ofsted-2012-questioning-to-promote-learning %5BAccessed 4th November 2015].
2) R.Ursa et al Open Ended vs Closed-ending questions in Web Questionnaires 2003 [Accessed 4th November 2015].