A Comparison Of Two Appraoches To Teaching Games.effects On Skill, Decision-making, And Perceived Competence

Por: A. Drakou, D. Chatzopoulos e E. Glenia.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of two approaches in teaching soccer at school: the technique approach and the games approach. The technique approach focuses on acquiring technical skills via drills. The games approach emphasizes in developing tactical awareness and decision-making in small game situations [5]. The two approaches were investigated in relevance to their effects on skill execution, decision-making and perceived competence.


Middle school students (12-13 years old) were taught soccer (15 lessons) by either a games approach (n=36) or a technique approach (n=39). In the beginning and at the end of the intervention the "Game Performance Assessment Instrument" [2] was administered, to examine skill execution and decision-making. Perceived competence was assessed by pre and post administration of the subscale "perceived competence" of the "Intrinsic Motivation Inventory" [1]. Separate analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted to test the differences between the two groups (games and technique). The paired samples t-test was applied for tracking down the differences between the initial and final values of each variable in the same group. The significance level was set at p<.05


According to the results of the ANCOVAs there were no significant differences between the two groups in any of the three variables (skill execution, decision making and perceived competence). Regarding skill execution, the t-test revealed that both groups had been improved significantly (table 1, technique group t=3.88, games group t=2.09). Concerning decision-making, the t-test showed that only the games group had been improved significantly (t=2.85). Regarding perceived competence, there was no significant improvement in either of the two groups.

Table 1. Mean (M) and Standard Deviation (SD) of the variables.




Games group


Games group


M (SD)

M (SD)

M (SD)

M (SD)

Skill execution

1.04 (.70)

1.11 (.50)

1.45 (.76)

1.36 (.63)


1.42 (1.18)

1.68 (1.050

1.80 (1.09)

2.52 (1.72)

Perceived competence

4.08 (1.61)

3.88 (1.52)

4.41 (1.57)

4.38 (1.55)


The significant improvement of skill execution in both groups and the finding of nonsignificant difference between them, support Sweeting and Rink (1999), who suggest that game-like conditions may facilitate skill development. Regarding decision-making, even though the ANCOVA revealed no significant difference between the two groups, the fact that only the games group showed a significant improvement can be seen as evidence that, the games approach has a positive effect on the development of decision-making. This finding is consistent to those of other studies [3]. The nonsignificant finding between the two groups regarding perceived competence, might be attributed to the strong teaching skills of the instructors. This finding may mean that when effective teachers are used, there is no affective advantage for any of the two approaches. The nonsignificance in perceived competence may also be possibly a result of the measurement. Perhaps, a qualitative measurement would be more suitable for detecting the potential impact of games and technique approaches, on students perceived competence. A more thorough investigation needs to be done, to provide evidence about this issue.


  1. MCAuley, E., Dungan, T. & Tammen, V. (1989). Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 60(1), 48-58.
  2. Oslin, J., Mitchell, S. & Griffin, L. (1998). Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 17, 231-243.
  3. Stuart, A. & Thorpe, R. (1997). British Journal of Physical Education, 28(3), 17-21.
  4. Sweeting, T. & Rink, J. (1999). Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 18, 216-233.
  5. Turner, A. & Martinek, T. (1995). Quest, 47, 44-63.



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