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Four Common Learning Styles and How To Coach Them

Every basketball coach knows that coaching is no easy feat. But certain things can be done to impart knowledge effectively so that every player on the team gets the best out of their learning experience.


Even though it might sound obvious, every student has different personalities, goals, ambitions, and preferences. These things directly dictate and influence their learning outcomes. One such thing of influence is called learning style.


They are a natural learning preference of every player, and there are four of them. If, as a coach, you know and understand these types well, you’ll impart knowledge to such athletes more effectively.


In this article, we'll cover four learning styles, how to identify them in your players, and how you, as a coach, can incorporate each of these styles in your coaching plans.

Four Types of Learning Styles

There are four types of learning styles. More often than not, these are naturally existing preferences, and athletes are not aware of these learning preferences. They are acronymed as VARK, i.e., Visual Learning, Auditory or Aural Learning, Read/Write learning, and kinesthetic Learning.

Visual Learning Style

These learners prefer learning by using imagery in forms such as training videos, images, shapes, and other visual patterns like a demonstration.

Auditory/Aural Learning Styles

Auditory learners prefer clear verbal instructions, questions, and answers to learn effectively. They are naturally tilted towards sounds, rhythm, and oral directions.

Read/Write Learning Style

These learners prefer written instructions, descriptions, and ideas as their mode of learning. They use resources such as plans, reports, articles, books, and other written material.

Kinesthetic Learning Style

These learners need to act or perform to learn. Their preference lies in experiencing something physically to learn it effectively.



How to Identify Your Player’s Preferred Learning Style

Watching and analyzing high-level games together will increase your players’ exposure to basketball and will give you the chance to share your insight on the game with them. The first step in coaching players in their natural learning styles is identifying what kind of style they prefer. One of the tried and tested methods of doing that is to show players a video of a player executing or performing a skill.


Such videos can easily be found on the internet. It is even better if a professional player performs a skill that is usually an important part of the game.


After the players see the video, ask them to go on court and perform what they saw. The more complex the move is, the easier it is for a coach to identify a player’s learning style. Once they have watched the video as many times as they want and start performing, you’ll notice a spectrum of reactions from different players.

  • You will notice some players watching the video for a short while in comparison to their teammates. They will get on the court right away and start executing. These players are most likely Kinesthetic learners.

  • Another group of players will watch the videos for a comparatively longer time and will most probably rewatch the video after attempting the moves. These are visual learners.

  • The third group of players will ask you or their teammates many questions before or during the execution. They will also seem more focused on what is being said rather than what is being shown. These players tend to be auditory learners.

  • As for players who learn by reading or writing, you will find them looking up different articles or written resources on the internet to perform the move accurately. They will also tend to take notes while watching the video.

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