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When A Question Isn’t A Question??

“Do you think you could have passed the ball?” Is this a question? Nope

That is a statement disguised as a question. What is basically being said here is… “You should have passed the ball.”

It’s no different to being at home really is it. You know, when the baby is crying and you get ‘asked’; “do you want to get up to baby?” (Not a question - get up to baby) Or “would you like to fold to the washing?” (Not a question - fold the washing). Or “do you think you could have added more cheese to the lasagne?” (Not a question - add more cheese next time).

Although there is a movement in coaching circles to apply more questioning approaches, it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Questioning is seen to hand over power to the players to construct their own meaning, increase a deeper level of thinking and learning and improve tactical awareness and performance. However, it does take a certain amount of skill.

Consider how to ask questions that are actually questions rather than statements. For example:

Instead of “do you think you could have passed the ball?” Try...

  • What are your options here?

  • What did you see?

Instead of “do you think we could hold onto the ball for longer?”

  • When we’ve got the ball, what is our goal?

  • How can we achieve that?

And as for the cheese in the lasagne, you work that one out. So… Do you think you could ask questions that are actually questions from now on? (bugger - that’s not a question is it? Or is it?)

Refer to Questioning Approaches from the 'Leading Coach Programme'


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