Learning the Ways Through Other
“Discourses are not mastered by overt instruction…but by enculturation (‘apprenticeship’) into social practices through scaffolded and supported interaction with people who have already mastered the Discourse” (Gee, 7). James Paul Gee uses his own concept of a Discourse, in his paper called Literacy, Discourse, And Linguistics Introduction. “Discourses are ways of being in the world; they are forms of life which integrate words, acts values beliefs, attitudes…” (7). Soccer is a Discourse, which involves overt instruction from others already within the soccer Discourse.
Professional soccer players can teach amateur players many things just by simply observing the game. “Any youth soccer player can benefit from observing professional soccer games by paying close attention to the little things that professionals do to get an edge (Coachup.com). Attending professional and even college level matches from the side lines can give a whole new perspective to the game. Playing a match on the field and watching from the side lines are two totally different views of the game itself. When a person is physically immersed in a game it is practice of what they already know. When a person watches a game they learn new techniques and they must try those techniques out in the next game. Practice makes perfect and without observing others in games it is impossible to practice new techniques.
All soccer coaches have played at some level once in their lives before. They are teaching you what they went through as a child growing up. They have mastered the Discourse of soccer and are trying to teach others. Listening to a soccer coach and trying to improve upon criticism will only increase the level of play. Coaches are coaching others because they know the skills that are crucial and are needed to be learned. Along with coaches comes teammates. Teammates on the amateur level, although not fully immersed in the Discourse but learning, can also help improve play. Playing against good players trying to enter the Discourse of soccer and be the best they can be, creates competition. What competition leads to is success. Nobody wants to do a drill in practice and get smoked by their teammate. Everyone wants to win, thus stepping up play.
Entering a Discourse can be done through apprenticeship. Watching professional games and listening to coaches and players will be the key to mastering the Discourse of soccer. I believe that to master the Discourse of soccer one does not have to make it professionally. There are only a select few who get to go professional. Learning through others already within or trying to enter a Discourse is the best means of practice. Doing what you love and improving everyday is how to master the Discourse of soccer. Without the aspect of practice, mastery is not achieveable.