I recently watched a video with Ken Robinson regarding creativity and how to encourage creativity in children. I felt the video was very interesting and Ken made some extremely valid points. I feel that some of his points actually tie into the previous video I spoke about with Coach Summer, where her objective with the children was win at all costs, and the result is the most important. In that example she is a coach tha to me kills creativty in children.
I think the first thing to discuss when it comes to coaching creativity in children, and creativity in general is to define a definition for what exactly creativity is. In my opinion creativity is the ability to do something that is unexpected, unique and outside of the normal constraints. Whether that be in sport, or art or even day to day life. In my opinion I find music to be the greatest form of creativity. Mainly because it’s so easy to make bad music, and quite difficult to make good music.
I took a few things away from the video which I will now discuss, and to be honest most of the things that Ken mentions I do agree with. For example education in schools and beyond is there simply to mould children for jobs. It is not there to develop creativity in fields such as Art, music and even sport. Because of this many children fall by the wayside, and are classified as being unsuccessful or failures. For example, Wayne Rooney did not perform particularly well in school, however nobody could therefore say he has failed in life. A lot of the time, exams in core subjects are used as a barometer of someone’s ability. Because of this culture and pressure heaped on children with exams etc, they all of a sudden become afraid of being wrong, this stops them from having a try at something a bit different or unexpected, therefore stifling their creativity as they grow. Education in general is set up to prepare children for industrialised developed jobs, and the education system istelf has not really changed or evolved since the industrial revolution. In fact you so often hear stories about artists, musicians and athletes who didn’t take well to the core subjects of Maths, Language and Science to be told by their teachers that they would never amount to anything, yet become famous for being so talented in other ways.
So how can creativity be encouraged and developed in children? As coaches we are able to give children that empowerment when playing sport to be creative. To do this we shouldn’t be criticising mistakes (like Coach Summer). We should praise and encourage anything that’s a bit different and out of the norm. We should also try to avoid too much block practice and repetition of the same exercises and drills over and over again as this will discourage children from the sport, and in turn being creative. It is also important for coaches ourselves to have certain levels of creativity. The reason being is that we need to be able to change a session if it’s not working, but we need to be able to change it to add value. We shouldn’t constantly just stick to textbook drills and practices for our sport. We should look to evolve it and change it to fit our coaching needs and also the needs of the players we are coaching.