This is a question/thought that has been brewing since before I got permission to post. I'm pretty sure it's been addressed before, but I think giving a specific scenario will clarify things. At present, I'm working with a team whose talent distribution is clustered at the top and the bottom tails. We've had a TON of development, so this question is unlikely to come up much as the series draws nearer. Still, it's worth discussing.
Earlier in the season, we brought a raw set of rookies to their first spring tournament. As to be expected, when they got out there, they looked like puppies in roller-skates on a linoleum floor. Between games, one of our rawest rookies was throwing with an older teammate, and the vet was really loading him up with tips. Everything from how to dictate on defense to cutting break on the endzone line to where to put his knee in order to throw an IO break.
For me, it was too much. I asked the vet to lay off him, expressing that I'd given the rookie 2 things to work on all tournament and we'd get to other stuff in the future. We had an argument about how to teach rookies, and I played the "I'm the coach do it" trump card, game over.
The questions here are:
What is the best way to go about teaching a rookie who has little to no experience playing Ultimate the whole of the game over the course of a season? What times are best to offer advice?
The veteran in my story seemed to be employing a sort of inundation method for teaching the kid. Tell him everything he might ever need to know all at once and then hope that the stuff that doesn't stick immediately remains tucked away, set to emerge once the player finds him/herself in the appropriate situation. This kind of teaching might also involve telling a player ten things he or she did wrong after any given point. I guess doing this also means a coach/mentor rarely has to worry about forgetting what s/he wanted to tell the player at any given moment.
For me, early tournaments are an opportunity to for young players to play the game without necessarily having someone hold their hand. This year, I tried to give rookies two or three things to think about over the course of the tournament (lanes to cut into, look upfield then dump at 6, etc) and then remind them about those things, point to point. I think a lot of what new players need to learn are (relatively) intuitive, they'll learn them as they watch good players do them or as their fellow new players do them wrong. Additionally, overthinking every little aspect of the game and then being nagged about what you've done wrong makes the game less fun, jeopardizing player retention.
At practice, however, the training wheels are on. I'll comment on pretty much everything I see them doing wrong and I'll make a point of reminding them about it if I see it again or praising them for changing their habits. Still, I try not to ever give more than one criticism at a time as I feel like a player acknowledging one fault and applying themselves to changing it is preferable to them forgetting two.
Additional paths to player improvement?