Are you keeping the kids under control?

Management of Kids is easy when you know how!


A very common comment from rookie coaches is ' you make it look so easy',  'the kids do what you tell them',  'they listen to you'.  

The management of kids can strike fear into the inexperienced.  If you struggle with behaviour management a few easy to implement strategies listed below will help your kids training sessions to be more beneficial for the kids and certainly less stressful for you.

Ever had a child's birthday party at your place where you were tearing your hair out within 10 minutes?  20 screaming kids running around going crazy?  Hollywood has made some great movies using this theme!

Management of Kids in sport equals quality sports coaching

Behaviour management is crucial if you want to be a successful sports coach.  Here are my practical tips for the behavior management:

  1. Purchase a whistle and learn how to use it effectively.
  2. Ensure training sessions are structured efficiently.
  3. Plan times for ‘regrouping’ to occur.
  4. Be positive not negative.
  5. Use non verbal techniques.
  6. Outsmart the problem kids.
  7. Have a sense of humour.

Coaching kids sports is a dynamic activity.  Behavior management will be a ongoing issue needing your constant attention. 

Remember your need to provide a safety, supportive environment.  Don't let inappropriate behaviour compromise the safety of the activity?

Sports coaches will change management techniques depending on the situation.

Individual Coaching - Management of Kids

Coaching individuals presents the easiest behavior management. Problem behavior, in this situation only becomes an issue when you as coach fail, to stay positive, or provide motivation for your athlete.

Individuals do not have the support of a training group.  You as coach need to provide the stimulation for the athlete to push himself or herself to improve.

Squad Coaching - Management of Kids

Coaches in charge of large squads like swimming or running activities need to be proactive in behaviour management.  Establish squad rules and routines.  Squad members need to understand your acceptable boundaries for behavior.

Reinforce positive behaviors by ignoring the ‘problem’ child and focusing on the kids displaying appropriate behaviour.

Coaches may feel the need to withdraw an athlete from either the team or squad environment for a period of time.  Some kids just don’t pick up on your expectations and need a little one on one talk.

If the negative behaviour continues, have the athlete and possibly their parents revisit the code of conduct.

Sports coaches should also ask themselves the question whether it's their training session or behaviour management skills that could be causing or aggravating the poor behaviour.

A very new book only released in 2012, written by Jessica Minahan, The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students has excellent reviews from not just me. My fellow teachers have taken practical strategies from the book and seen success instantly. In my opinion it's worth the investment.

Management of kids is a learned skill

If you have a training session go bad, take the time afterward to analyze what activity set the kids off.  Kids in sports are naturally enthusistic , mostly enjoying themselves and learning new skills.  Channel their energy towards the planned activities and you will be amazed at the results.

More practical tips and strategies I personally use for management can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.

Your management of kids improves with experience and practice!

Sometimes you coach a child who has been diagnosed with a mental illness.  Remember a great coach never excludes anyone!  The National Institue of Mental Health has information to help. Take the time to visit their site should you require education in this area. 

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