Scandinavian Education – success into sports coaching…?
You may be aware of the Scandinavian educational system and it’s approach to learning. If so, you will understand that it is one of the most successful in the world as a region with the highest portion of female learners with a Masters Degree (Denmark) and highest numbers of students into option higher education (Norway, Iceland, Sweden) – Education in Nordic countries – statistics & facts | Statista
Finland, however, even higher on the data! 93% complete high school with 66% moving to higher education…
Why could this be? Well… the psychology of it is key. It’s highly uncommon, and frowned upon, to use the word “successful” or the phrase “a child should…”. Instead, learning is tailored to individual needs and preferences with a focus on “freedom” and “responsibility”. School is aligned to ‘social norms’ and providing real-world opportunities to allow graduates to thrive in society.
So, can this be applied to sport for the rest of the world?
Yes, if you’re creating an environment that places responsibility and ownership as a key attribute. Also, a yes if you’re looking to improve decision making, creativity and leadership, both mentally and physically.
A no could be if there is too much freedom – think ‘Laissez-Faire’!
So how can you as the coach find a balance? Set your boundaries, work within them WITH the players and create a demographic environment but have the clear purpose/aim as well as planning for those individual needs.
What’s another key takeaway… “A child should…” don ‘t compare them to a norm. Compare them to themselves and their own progression. If they want to improve, have them be a part of the planning process.