Play with Purpose: Teaching Games and Sport for Understanding as Explicit Teaching

Shane Pill, John Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Play with Purpose derives from the Game Sense approach (GSA). The GSA is a game-based teaching/coaching approach founded on athlete-centred inquiry teaching styles, such as guided discovery where well-considered questioning is a characteristic. It was intended as an alternative to the traditionally dominant transmission pedagogy of directive and practice style instruction of games teaching. The athlete-centred narrative of player responsibility for learning associated with the GSA challenges traditional directive teaching of ‘sport-as-sport-techniques’ taught through demonstrate-explain-practice. In technique-based sport teaching and coaching, deviations from a prescribed common (or optimum) idea of a movement model are typically considered ‘incorrect’ requiring a teacher/coach intervention to ‘fix’. Commonly, there is an emphasis on movement cues focusing on players attaining specific body movements. Within a game and sport context, the complexity the authors refer to in the moment of play is explained as a process of continual adaptation and responsiveness to a constantly changing environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching games and sport for understanding
EditorsShane Pill, Ellen-Alyssa F. Gambles, Linda L. Griffin
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-29829-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-28735-5, 978-1-032-28729-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Play
  • Play with purpose
  • Game-based learning
  • Physical education


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