Skilfulness on country: informal games and sports exposure

John Robert Evans*, Richard Light, Greg Downey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Games based coaching and practice was first considered in the 1960s, however David Bunker and Rod Thorpe’s Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) in 1982 laid the foundation for the range of game centred coaching (GCC) approaches that are used today. At the heart of game-based coaching is the acceptance that the game and the interaction between players and with coaches creates the environment for growth and development. The coach is seen as a facilitator rather than a director and that a different pedagogical lens is required to effectively implement game centred coaching (GCC). This chapter reports on a 3 year ARC study which examined the pedagogical influences on elite Indigenous players in Australian Football League and the National Rugby League (NRL). Indigenous athletes currently account for 14% of the elite player population in the AFL and NRL and this success far exceeds that of any other cultural group (Light & Evans 2018). Indigenous players display a unique style characterised by high order decision making and athleticism. Indigenous players often develop their skills in the absence of a directive approach from coaches and participation in sport occurs within a sociocultural context where sport is highly associated with local culture. The research involved interviewing eight players in both codes (n = 16) to understand how they learnt to play sport. The results from the analysis of interview transcripts link skilfulness to participation in informal games and exposure to a range of sports in the sampling phase.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on game-based coaching
EditorsShane Pill
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781003007272
ISBN (Print)9780367440473
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Focus
NameContemporary Geographies of Leisure, Tourism and Mobility


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