Inevitably, there are times in practice that an athlete will struggle to grasp a concept or the mechanics of a technical skill. Our job as coaches is to facilitate that athletes development, hence we need to adapt the environment. Coach MacKay’s progressions of drills provides a nice way of being able to do this.
Whilst I won’t get into the details of each phase of progression here, it is worth noting that Phase A is all about on-air, blocked practice. This means that there is a time and a place to use blocked practice. Coach MacKay suggests using Phase A drills in the warm-up, when dealing with an absolute beginner, or to breakdown a concept that a player is struggling with.
Regardless of the situation not a lot of time is spent here, as we don’t want the player to be able to coast. We want to move the player back into Phase B or C, so that they can “wobble”, and stay actively engaged as they learn the chosen skill.