WARREN BARLOW'S INSIGHT INTO JUNIOR FOOTBALL: There were lots of positives to come from Silent Weekend

Warren Barlow

Warren Barlow

First published in Sport

THIS is my take on the Silent Weekend which took place March 8 and 9.

The event was organised by the Lancashire FA and the ‘silent’ majority signed up to it and could see the message behind the initiative, although looking at forums and my twitter account the ‘loud’ minority certainly didn’t take to it.

Even the Lancashire FA posted the following on their website “We know reservations exist in some clubs, notably it would seem among coaches who view the inability to convey instructions as being a restraint of trade. “All we ask is for one day’s observance and then an honest reflection of the advantages and disadvantages.

“If any club is vehemently against this initiative, we must respect that but we are more than happy to speak to any officials, managers, or parents who are not willing to lend support.”

So what do I think about it?

No way do I want to see a sterile game of football in which silence reigns, but I am firmly and squarely in the supporters camp for what this weekend sought to achieve.

Humans generally learn in one or a combination of three ways: 1) listening, 2) observing and 3) experiencing. We can talk to any human and explain how to do a task. A percentage will understand and a percentage will not. We can tell them in many different ways and again, some will understand but some will always, not get it.

We can demonstrate a task or allow them to watch others completing it, sometimes many times, but again a percentage will not get it.

So we have catered for two-third of learning styles, but what about those that learn by doing?

How can a child master a computer, mobile phone, iPad, complex games or smart TVs without once reading a set of instructions or being “taught”?

They learn by trial and error, by doing, by experiencing!

Unless coaches and parents allow players to make their own decisions then they will only follow instructions or mimmick others and will never learn by experience.

You are failing one-third of learners.

I refereed two games on this weekend and I was amazed to hear the players encouraging, supporting and organising each other without adult intervention.

Long may that continue.

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