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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Teaching Games on Decision Making and Skill Execution: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Faculty of Education, Psychology and Sport Sciences, University of Huelva, 21071 Huelva, Spain
Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28943 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 505;
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments in Physical Education and Sport)
The question of how games should be taught is still a controversial subject. There has been a growing number of studies on teaching games and coaching sports since the first publication of Bunker and Thorpe on Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). In this sense, the present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to systematically review the scientific literature about the effects of technical and tactical approach interventions on skill execution and decision making, and to examine the influence of the teacher/coach management style. A systematic literature search was carried out in accordance with PRISMA guidelines in Web of Science (WOS), PubMed (Medline), Scopus, and SportDiscus electronic databases. A total of seven and six studies were deemed to meet the inclusion criteria for decision making and skill execution, respectively. Meta-analysis results showed that tactical interventions achieved significant improvements in decision making (effect size = 0.89 with 95% confidence interval (CI) from 0.12 to 1.65), but they did not show significant improvements in skill execution (effect size = 0.89 with 95% CI from −0.45 to 2.23) compared to technical approaches. However, the heterogeneity of interventions was large and the quality of evidence was low according to GRADE. In conclusion, tactical approaches are recommended to teach games and sports in order to develop technique, understanding, tactical knowledge, and decision making, which are demanded in game play. These findings could be useful for teachers and coaches to improve these aspects of their players and students. View Full-Text
Keywords: TGfU; sport pedagogy; technique-focused approaches; tactical approaches TGfU; sport pedagogy; technique-focused approaches; tactical approaches
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Abad Robles, M.T.; Collado-Mateo, D.; Fernández-Espínola, C.; Castillo Viera, E.; Giménez Fuentes-Guerra, F.J. Effects of Teaching Games on Decision Making and Skill Execution: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 505.

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