Stimulating Players' Minds
To develop players’ active involvement in the training and learning process, coaches must master the skill of posing questions. The most effective questions are open ones that require descriptive answers. In contrast, closed questions with “yes” or “no” answers shut the door on the exploration of further detail. That is why coaches should concentrate on open questions, ones that begin with words that seek to quantify or gather facts: what, when, how much, or how many. Through systematic questioning by the coach the pupils are self-generating the information. Thanks to intelligent questions, many players become aware of problems they have never noticed before. Facing them, players have to think, examine, judge, and evaluate until they find solutions to the problems presented by the coach. On the contrary, when a coach instructs or just tells players what to do in certain moments or situations of the game, he or she does not stimulate any of these active mental processes. Once hockey coaches have been convinced of the need to modify the traditional way of teaching their players, they soon discover that the process of understanding and learning hockey will shift increasingly to self-teaching.
Horst Wein, “The key to Better Hockey“