Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas suggest using the Socratic Approach in their book, “Power Questions.” This is valuable advice for youth coaches who want to empower and motivate players. The Socratic Approach will also help athletes develop higher-level thinking skills.
Suggestions made by Sobel and Panas are available on page 31 and they are as follows:
Instead of “telling,” a coach can, “ask thought-provoking questions.”
- Example: Instead of saying, “This is how to score on an open net,” a coach could ask, “how would you score if there was an open net?”
Instead of “being the expert,” a coach can, “invite others to contribute expertise.”
- Example: Instead of saying and demonstrating, “This is how you dive,” a coach can begin with, “does anyone have any tips about the diving board they would like to share before we begin?”
Instead of, “controlling knowledge,” a coach can, “help draw out others’ experiences.”
- Example: Instead of retelling stories about prior seasons, ask players to contribute what they remember.