Sports Coaches

Whistle techniques for behavior management of kids in sport

Go and buy yourself a whistle the moment you are confirmed as a kids sports coach.

Metal Coaches Whistle

Children will be familiar with this tool being used to control their behavior. Teachers when educating in the outdoor setting love using this form of nonverbal communication.

A whistle, in my opinion is the most valuable piece of equipment any sports coach can have when dealing with sports kids.

The behavior management of kids is made easier when you have a tool that when blown hard will attack the attention of everyone instantly.

Tips for using the Whistle effectively

  • Establish with the sports kids that the whistle means STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. Play a game of ‘freeze’ with the younger children; move in a defined area and when the whistle sounds participants have to freeze
  • At training sessions only blow the whistle once at a time as multiple blows weakens the message to stop, look and listen
  • Kids in sport need to react to the whistle in competition. When ever the sports coach is using sports game simulations always use the whistle to stop play, just like an umpire or referee
  • Wear the whistle around you neck using a cord. This frees up your hands for demonstrations and nonverbal communications. Hand held whistles are annoying
  • Be cautious not to blast on the whistle when young ears are too close
  • Sports coaches should regularly wash the whistle, it gets a bit ‘grotty’
  • Female Basketball Coach
    If you are inexperienced in coaching kids in sport, the whistle will build confidence in your ability to succeed in behaviour management very quickly.

    If you still have reservations about the power of a whistle to succeed at behavior management watch the movie ‘Kindergarten Cop’; a wonderful example of an adult novice gaining the management of kids quickly and simply.