You have probably heard of at least one of these terms – “game sense”, “game based”, “decision making”,”tactical approach” “TGFU”, “game simulation”. They all relate to the training environment and specifically refer to training activities that put players in game-like situations where decisions on what movement technique to produce have to be constantly made by players. The value of this approach is now well understood in almost all team sports, especially at the higher levels.
“Transfer of practice to game conditions depends on the extent to which practice resembles the game” (Professor Richard Magill, 1993)
In terms of Australian Football I think there is still a lot of education to be done at all levels on how to best implement this approach in training.
Some coaches take this approach too literally and think that setting up 18v18 match practice for 30 minutes during training will achieve the desired result. Others sit at the other end of the scale and will refuse to implement anything other than “cone to cone” drills with a bit of circle work at the end of training. These coaches normally get satisfaction in seeing the ball “zing around” at training but are probably equally frustrated on game day when, low and behold, there is a variable called “opposition” that cause all sorts of problems!
To assist with this issue, the Australian Sports Commission has available some great video resources on game sense training and instruction/feedback. I have included 4 of those videos below. I would highly recommend viewing these and would be surprised if you could not take something away to apply in your own coaching. As always, any feedback and comments would be great and can be entered at the bottom of this page.
Video 1 – Instruction & Feedback
Video 2 – Game Sense Training Part 1
Video 3 – Game Sense Training Part 2
Video 4 – Game Sense Training Part 3