In his book Diffusion of Innovations, Everett Rogers (1983) lists countless 'innovations', such as the Dvorak keyboard (a typing keyboard that is more 'efficient' than the QWERTY keyboard) , that have failed to become part of everyday practice because existing inertia has allowed other more 'tried and tested' practices to persist. These numerous examples and the explanations given by Rogers, help provide some background to the challenges that are faced when beginning to consider utilizing different and possibly 'innovative' practices in teaching and coaching. They also offer insight into how long it may actually take to change cultural practices because, even if the 'innovation' if considered favorable, it simply takes time to build interpersonal networks so that the 'innovation' can take off and become common practice. This process is certainly made all the more challenging when, for example, there are not enough what Rogers calls, 'early adopters' and/or 'early adopters' in positions of power to ensure the diffusion process occurs in a more expedited manner.
Rogers' diffusion theory certainly offers some explanations to why pedagogical 'innovations' such as Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and other games-based approaches (GBAs) have struggled to gain a foothold in modern-day teaching and coaching settings. Indeed, observations of teachers and coaches show that, particularly coaches, spend the majority of time 'instructing' and providing feedback (monologuing) with less time spent asking questions, discussing and supporting students/players/athletes in formulating solutions (dialoguing). Monologuing is therefore 'the norm', and teachers and coaches that depart from these cultural norms could face similar challenges to those described by Rogers in introducing citrus to cure scurvy in the late 1400's and 1500/1600's. It took until 1865 for scurvy to be eliminated in the merchant navy. So, physical education and youth sport can act now to mobilize a greater number of teachers and coaches as 'early adopters' who 'step back', ask questions and 'facilitate' rather than 'direct' learning, and/or wait nearly 400 years for alternative pedagogical approaches such as TGfU and other GCAs to be commonplace. However, one would not want to hazard a guess as to what might happen if the two professions wait that long?
Rogers, E. M. (1983). Diffusion of Innovations (3rd Ed). New York: MacMillan.