Flipped Coaching Resources and Tips

A long post, I know… but some good information with some excellent links and sources for information.

flipped practiceFlipping” the classroom or practice field refers to the concept of using technology to flip the traditional classroom/ meeting time; using online, shared content to provide student-athletes with learning opportunities traditionally reserved for classroom presentations, freeing up that time for more in-depth, hands-on, interactive learning opportunities.

A recent article in the THE Journal (Technological Horizons in Education) provided 10 tips for a better flipped classroom.  The article dealt specifically with the classroom, but most of these tips easily translate into the arena of athletics and coaching as well.

1) Devise a flipped strategy. Will you make your own videos, curate material from other sources or do a combination? What video-creation software will you use? And what will you do with class time when you reduce or eliminate lecture time? I wrote about the nuts and bolts (including software) of making a screencast in my post, Making a Screen Recording

2) Start small. “I jumped in all at once and nearly drowned,” says Sherry Spurlock, an Illinois chemistry teacher who tried to flip all four of her classes at once. “Making the videos was a very big time commitment. I would recommend doing it in smaller chunks.” In my post, Flipping the Practice Field, I suggest each position coach start my making a teaching video of their most important drill.  Check the post to see some ideas on what that video might include.

3) Get student buy-in. Student-athletes may initially resist the idea of watching videos and doing other work outside of practice. The rationale for flipped pedagogy needs to be explained well.   I think most athletes will understand and relish in the fact that doing their “homework” will lead to more actual on the field coaching and teaching… the end result is that they will be more successful come game time.

4) Teach students how to watch videos. “You don’t watch instructional videos in the same manner as a popular film,” explains Jon Bergmann, a flipped learning innovator. Students need pointers on when to hit the pause button, when to go back and watch something again, and how to write notes and questions as they watch.  We try to educate our athletes about how studying film on Hudl is not at all like watching an NFL game on Sunday.  The same is true for your instructional videos.

5) Reach out to parents. Spurlock reports that her biggest roadblock at first was parents who didn’t understand what flipping was all about. She held parent conferences, created a short video, and sent an online newsletter to parents. Gradually parents became excited and supportive.  Many new platforms are helping with this process… with communicating safely with both students and parents and posting online content.   A relative newcomer to the field, Dewsly, has some great built in tools to help streamline this process.

6) Encourage (don’t punish) students. “If half of your students don’t watch your video content, don’t rescue them by teaching what is already in your video [in class],” says Bergmann. “All that will accomplish is to tell the students who did the work that they wasted their time.” A better solution is to have homework slackers watch the video at the back of the room while the rest of the team gets face-time with their coach going over higher-level material.  Like anything else in coaching, if you are clear with the expectation that they need to watch the “homework” video to see the field, then this should not be an issue.

7) Don’t use videos as the only engagement tool. Using the same blog format may become stale to students. Many students prefer to watch videos on their smartphones.   Some school districts have implemented a 1-to-1 philosophy, providing every student in their district a computer or tablet device.

8) Make videos short and interactive. Bergmann and his colleague Aaron Sams started with full-length lectures in their videos and quickly learned to limit each video to one discrete objective.  Videos should also be broken up into sections, have a table of contents, and if possible, have interactive features – for example, a quiz that takes students who get questions wrong back to the relevant section of the video.   There are many apps available to help with this process… several are described in Coach Grabowski article on flipped coaching, Making an Impact with Flipped Coaching.

9) Find fellow flippers. “I jumped on Twitter and blogs and ran things by people so I didn’t feel like I was stuck in my own little world,” says math teacher Chrystal Kirch. “You can feel like you are alone, but there are people out there that are willing to share.”  Here are several coaches that you can follow so that you will not feel alone:

  • Jason Hanstadt – Assistant Coach- New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL.
  • Blog – The Flipped Coach

10) Focus on what happens during classroom time. “A big misconception is focusing too much on the video,” says Kirch. “Video is valuable, but it is just one tool. Flipping is defined by what you do in class and student-centered learning.”   It’s not all about the videos… it’s about the extra in-depth classroom time, or on the field learning time you get by using this method.

More posts about Flipped Coaching:

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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