When coaching skills, are you giving the kids the best opportunity to improve?
Coaching skills in sports games is a rewarding experience. Following the guidelines below will transform you as a volunteer parent or non sporty classroom teacher into a coaching success.
Kids sports would not proceed without the assistance of parent volunteers. Put your hand up and give it a go. Why not team up with a fellow parent? Safety in numbers!
Paid sports coaches are present within many sporting associations. They are however more often than not still supported by volunteers working behind the scenes.
At school, teachers are often the first step in developing kids in sport. Classroom teachers have the skills to succeed but sometimes lack the confidence in the sporting environment. Practice makes perfect. You just have to start.
So what attributes does a successful sports coach have?
What coaching skills do I require to survive and then thrive?
Why do the kids adore some coaches and grumble at others?
Communication in Coaching Skills
Be confident in your approach. Your voice, body language, attitude and dress all send a powerful message to the kids.
Send the correct message.
Most successful sports coaches would agree that your voice is the most powerful tool in coaching skills and game strategies. Add passion into your voice when communicating with the kids. This makes them feel like you're with them all the way. Which you are, right? After a while they will be 'putty' in your hands ready to be modeled in any way you desire.
Everyone associated with you, as coach, needs to be kept informed. When is practice? Who is being selected this week? Where is the next game? What happens if I miss a training session? What if it rains?
Have an ‘open door’ policy for athletes and parents to feel confident in approaching you to discuss anything.
Being open and transparent goes along way to creating team harmony.
Ensure everyone has read the code of conduct and understands it.
Keep the FUN in when coaching skills
Kids sport should be fun. There is plenty of time in adult life to get super serious in sports games.
To keep children participating and coming back season after season the fun element needs to be high. Fun however, doesn't mean silly, out of control kids, learning no skills during training sessions. The more fun in the activity or game, the more a coach needs to ‘keep a lid’ on behavior. Read more about managing kids behavior in sports games here.
The most powerful management tool any sports coach can have is a whistle. Buy a whistle!.
During structured training sessions sports coaches need to be ‘smart’ and disguise their essential skills coaching and teaching of game strategies into fun focused activities.
Be 'committed' as a sports coach when coaching skills
Coaching kids is a time consuming pursuit. Ensure you’re up to the task and will carry through with your commitment to the team for the entire season.
If necessary, ensure you are prepared to spend time educating yourself in the rules, and learning sports specific skills, and games strategies.
End the season as you start it, full of enthusiasm. Committed coaches do not become disinterested; arrive late to practice and games.
And one more, a warning signal should sound loudly when you become sarcastic with you athletes. Send positive signals to the junior athletes all season long.
Sometimes finding another coach as a mentor will greatly speed up your progression to be a great coach.
Be Consistent in Coaching Skills
Personal trust is developed between sports coach and athlete when coaching consistency is present. Coaches will find they form strong bonds with their athletes.
Successful coaches will often tell stories of how they have regular encounters with adults that they coached years ago as kids. It is very satisfying when they can talk about their days under your guidance in a positive manner and reminisce about old times.
Kids like to know where they stand. Treat all individuals, and members of the squad or team equally.
No playing favorites to your most skillful players. Everybody is equal and will receive the same treatment.
Everyone gets a go at being captain. Everyone has a turn on the interchange bench.
If your message at the beginning of the season is about participation and enjoyment, don’t rant and rave at half or full time about the score.
Teachers shouldn’t need any help with this topic. Consistency is a foundation block of good teaching.
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