A review of the game-centred approaches to teaching and coaching literature since 2006

Stephen Harvey, Kendall Jarrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background approaches (GCAs) to teaching and coaching literature highlighting a number of core concepts thought to provide justification for the use of GCAs including (a) its potential to enhance participant motivation, (b) potential for tactical transfer, and (c) development of decision-making skills and effective decision-makers. Oslin and Mitchell also suggested recommendations for future GCA research.: In 2006, Oslin and Mitchell published a review of the game-centred Purpose research into GCAs building on the previous review of Oslin and Mitchell published in 2006; (b) to identify new trends in research since 2006; and (c) to investigate the extent to which the initial suggestions and future research directions suggested by Oslin and Mitchell have been addressed.: The purpose of this paper was threefold: (a) to present a review of Anglophone Data collection approach. Phase 1 included initial searches of the EBSCO database using terms associated with GCAs and their acronyms (e.g. TGfU (teaching games for understanding), GS (Game Sense), etc.). Phase 2 expanded the search adopting more generic terms from keywords located in the recent literature (e.g. teaching games, tactical development, game performance, etc.). Multiple searches through the EBSCO database were conducted, whereby key terms were cross-referenced until a saturation point was reached. Phase 3 involved removing those publications that were not empirical, peer reviewed, intervention studies or published in English.: GCA literature since 2006 was searched systematically using a threephase Findings methodological and substantive nature of these studies was examined. The review noted two positive trends: (a) the expansion of research which included the growth of research on GCAs in Europe and Southeast Asia and (b) an increased amount of research in the affective domain. The review found, however, that a number of key challenges remain within GCA research, which include (a) the need for improved articulation of GCA verification procedures; (b) further assessment of tactical awareness development; (c) extended inquiry about GCAs in coaching contexts; (d) more research into ‘newer’ GCAs (i.e. PP (play practice), IGCM (invasion game competence model) and TDLM (tactical decision learning model)); (e) use of longitudinal research designs; (f) inadequate length of GCA induction and training for teachers and coaches, and (g) examination of GCAs in terms of fitness and special populations.: Forty-four studies on GCA implementation were identified and the Conclusions promote change within current adult-centric cultures of youth sport and encourage engagement in physical activity over the life course. To meet these needs, it is recommended that GCA research undergo continued expansion with the use of research designs and data collection techniques that aid the examination of different: GCA pedagogies are of significant importance as they have the potential to philosophical understandings of GCAs (e.g. ethnographic, phenomenological and psycho-phenomenological). These are paramount to the exploration of ‘who the individual is’ and ‘how the learner is motivated to continue to participate’ and further permit the in-depth, contextual and ecological analysis of GCA interventions that Oslin and Mitchell recommended in their previous review.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-300
Number of pages23
JournalPhysical Education and Sport Pedagogy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2013


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