Summary of the coaching styles of Muska Mosston
Summary of the coaching styles of Muska Mosston

Command Style

  • This style is a very dictatorial style of coaching where the coach gives directions, and the students are instructed to replicate the instructions. The coach will then circulate throughout the students and provide individual feedback.
  • Groups who are receiving instruction are set up in an organized pattern with military precision.  Often used for drills, warm-ups, and cooldowns.
  • The coach directs the speed, timing and position of how the move is to be practiced. They would signal when to perform the move, and the students would respond.
  • This style makes efficient use of time, as the reputation involved in the learning process allows for maximum time spent performing the move.
  • The students do not have to think to learn the moves and just learn by memory, reputation and recall.

Practice Style

  • The coach will give the task to the students to perform in the same vein as the command style.  The coach will still circulate to provide feedback.
  • The students break up into smaller groups and decide on their rhythm, pace and repetitions on how they perform the move.
  • Students are given more control over their actions and have to take responsibility and independence for their actions. The additional responsibility may have an effect on the time spent practicing the move.

Reciprocal Style

  • The coach gives instructions on how to perform the move. Then a team is broken up into pairs or threes.  One person in the group is the designated observer in the group.
  • Instead of the coach then having to circulate to give feedback, the observer in the group can be giving constant feedback. In this way, feedback will continually be being provided which should lead to an overall greater volume of feedback..
  • The coach will give a list of things to check and look for to the observer. The coach then only needs to communicate with the observers.
  • This results in better socialization between your students and they take an active role in their development.
  • The coach is then not required to be physically present for feedback and modifications. But less time will be spent performing the moves because of the additional observer.

Self Check Style

  • The coach will give instructions for the move and will give the students a list of things to check during the performance of the move.
  • Students then practice the movement and, assess and compare themselves to the checklist that the coach has given them.
  • The Self check style allows for more time and progression of the move, and the students learn from the repetition and memory of the move.

Inclusion Style

  • The inclusion method allows for multiple levels of a step so that the skill level accommodates for all of the students and they can all achieve a level of success with the move.
  • Students will choose the degree of skill they want to perform the move at based on their self-assessment of their ability.
  • The coach will then provide feedback on the decision-making process of the students skill level but not on what level the students should choose.
  • Students have the option to take a step back to have success at the move instead of the class-wide level being too high, and they fail.  Allows the students to get more involved in their learning process.
  • Some students will have problems choosing what level to perform. Awareness of any gaps between reality and what skill level the student chooses should be a focus of the coach.

Guided Discovery Style

  • In this style, the coach will guide the students through a range or series of scenarios and problems. The students will then make their decisions on what the solutions to each of these problems would be.
  • Each part of a move is guided by responses to the previous step. This will mean a lot of time is spent waaiting to get answers and figuring out what the step will be and the coach to give cues. More patience will be required.
  • A lot more preparation will have to be done by ther coach as they will have to prepare on how to deal with the wide variety of responses the students could give. Even then you will still likley encounter unanticipated answers and have to spend time experimenting.
  • The guided discovery style will reduce the amount of time you get to spend physically practicing a move, but it will significantly increase the level of thinking ad cognitive involvement in the student.

Divergent Style

  • The students engage in working out what the move will be in response to particular problems.
  • Then each solution that a student comes up with is given value and used while the coach will encourage the students to come up with responses but will not make the judgement of them.
  • The divergent style increases the level of the creativity of the students and gets them to cooperate.
  • The divergent style will be very demanding of the coach as they must have a lot of knowledge on what responses should be encouraged and how to do that.

Individual Program Style

  • The Individual program will involve a program designed by the student and the coach based on their own abilities and skill level;
  • Completely individualized so it well not be suited to everyone and would dramatically increase the workload if done for an entire class.
  • The students can design their own problems and solutions and the coach will guide them and provide feedback on them.
  • The experience of both the student and the coach will be required for this to work and the student to actively engage in the design of their program.
  • Even the individual program will take up a lot of time to plan for the student as many factors and experimentation will have to be taken into account.

I highly recommend you do further reading on the spectrum of teaching styles as it is an excellent resource.