A coach recently indicated to me that he was working extra hard to have something unique and original to do with his team each week in training.
First off kudos to this coach for being so thoughtful about keeping his athletes engaged and learning.
Learning contains repetition.
We do need repetition for young athletes to learn, however, so that they get time working on a particular skill, decision or concept without constantly jumping around. If you repeat games and exercises weekly they get more comfortable and can focus on the actual game. The coach can add in different restrictions and limits in order to keep the game fresh.
One thought. I like to operate within a framework that says to create environments of “repetition without repetition.”
Mark Upton writing at the Fastest Mile says this elegantly,
“Therefore, whilst training can still focus on repetition of a particular skill or tactical concept, it must inject sufficient amounts of variability – elegantly termed “repetition without repetition”.
Let’s continue to develop games so that the decisions and responsibilities get more and more complex.
Learning contains repetition, but not rote memorization. Create environments that keep them challenged, having fun and neither bored nor frustrated. And, you’ll have a learning environment.