Sports participation is vitally important for children to live healthy, happy and successful lives. It is the responsibility of a coach to make sports fun and engaging for the children participating, as well as providing developmental outcomes from each session coached. This will influence long term physical, mental and social development; along with continued participation in later life.
Bad coaching standards will negatively impact a children’s sporting experience and thus increase the risk of drop out. This can have serious ramifications in later life. Therefore Boom Sports aim to continue to enhance coaching standards within youth sports, in order to positively influence the lives of the next generation.
Here are our top tips for Children’s Sports Coaches:
1. Be Adaptable
Children of the same age can vary massively in both physical and mental maturity, this means that as a coach you need to be adaptable in your coaching methods in order to equally engage and develop all children. Have both progressions and regressions at the ready for a session plan in order to challenge each child appropriately.
2. Make it FUN
Children do things for enjoyment! If you make the coaching sessions fun that will increase their buy in, and desire to continue to participate. This does not mean you substitute learning for fun. There must be a balance between the two; a good coach will set up a fun drill/game which has specific learning objectives from it.
3. Teach the FUNdamentals then progress
Children need to build the foundations of basic movement skills; such as running, jumping, catching, throwing and kicking, before then building onto sport specific skills. This is essential for their long term athletic development, and continued active lifestyle.
Long term planning is required in order to develop all fundamental skills, which can then be progressed onto sport specific development. Each session coached should have clear learning objectives, which are progressed week on week. A coach needs to put in the time outside of the actual session in order to prepare fun, engaging and progressive plans which will develop the child.
5. Demonstrations Key
Children learn in different ways. Being able to correctly demonstrate what you are coaching is pivotal. Children need to see correctly performed examples of skills in order for them to copy and learn them. Adding verbal queues are also important as some children may need these to reinforce what they have seen. A coach should be prepared to perform and describe each skill they are teaching.
6. Social Skills
Sports are a great way to strengthen and develop new friendships. Coaches should promote this side of sport and allow the social aspect to shine through. This will give children the opportunity to develop key social skills like communication, leadership, team work, and more.
These coaching tips form the basis of our coaching philosophy Play, Learn and Socialise. Through this we feel we can positively impact the lives of the next generation through sport. Keep children active with these top tips!