Provide a safe, fun, educational environment for all players.
Help players become competent and creative with the ball – but also to become independent thinkers on the field (i.e. the coach does not talk players through the game constantly).
Be aware of physical, mental and emotional characteristics of players.
Players must be free of the fear of ‘making a mistake’, losing a game and ‘letting the coach down’.
Winning games is not important. The common perception is that if a team is winning – the coach is good and if the team is losing – the coach is poor. The coach must communicate with players/parents and also not judge themselves on the results on game day.
Planning – appropriate and effective
Set up – grids to be set up before practice
Motivation – get players focused and engaged from the word go.
Communication – be loud and only speak when you have everyone’s attention.
Manner – be up-beat; keep things short and to the point.
Coaching – introduce coaching points progressively, not all at once.
Position – move around the group and see all players.
Questioning – ask open questions and challenge players
Recap – go over key areas numerous times to ensure understanding
Vital components of any children’s practice:
Warm up – running, jumping, skipping, chasing, hopping. Focus players and explain aim of session.
Ball familiarity – all players should have a ball and be allowed high levels of repetition without pressure of rules or opposition.
Fun games – facilitate games where by the players ‘learn without realizing’ and become comfortable on the ball.
Small sided games – every practice should end with a small scrimmage
Progressive coaching method (6 steps):
Warm up – relate to session topic
Unopposed practice – provide high levels of repetition
Opposed practice – gradually increase pressure, could be time/space/opponent
Game related practice – add direction/goals
Coached scrimmage – reinforce skills learnt throughout session.
Cool down – can simply be Q & A about key skills from session
DYS Coach Education Tips for a successful practice:
Plan your session in advance – take plan to session
Check equipment needs – balls, cones, bibs, etc
Set a good example – arrive early for session
Do not use valuable practice time stretching – players can do this while you set up
Start each session on time
Keep explanations/instructions brief and to the point
Do not talk unless you have all players attention
Introduce coaching points one at a time
Provide a demonstration, or have a player demonstrate
Vary the tone and inflection of your voice
Move around the area and correct individual techniques
If an activity is not working – make adjustments or change activity
Provide feedback but do not commentate throughout the session
Do not allow more accomplished players to get bored – Challenge all
Allow players to rehydrate frequently
Use breaks to reinforce key coaching points
Constantly reinforce good behavior
Sit out disruptive players – do not take time away from the group
Recap at end with Q & A to check players understanding