Most people are surprised by how hard it can be to become a successful coach. If you find yourself in a similar spot, know that you’re not alone.
After all, many young coaches grew up playing the sport they are now coaching. In some cases, you may have even excelled at the sport. So why is it so difficult for young coaches to teach kids the sport they are so passionate about?
Young coaches typically get into coaching with high expectations, and soon realize that there are many factors they do not have control over.
To help manage those factors, here are 7 tips for young coaches teaching kids.
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7 Tips for young coaches teaching kids
Have a clear goal for coaching
Understand what you want to get out of the experience and set a clear goal to achieve. Perhaps you appreciate all of the coaches and mentors you had growing up, and your goal is to give back and help more kids enjoy gymnastics. No matter what goal is driving you, it will be an anchor as you go through the peaks and valleys of coaching.
Set expectations early
Be sure to communicate clear expectations for parents and kids. Have a parent meeting before the first practice to share your goals and your expectation for participation, behavior, and parental involvement.
Regularly communicate with parents
With parents, sometimes too much communication is the perfect amount of communication. Am I right? Using the right class management software will keep parents up to date on:
- The progress their kids are making toward achieving certain skills in class;
- Special announcements at your facility;
- Updates to new class policies and so much more.
These time-saving communication tools are valuable for every coach at your gym, but especially for young coaches.
Follow a lesson plan
Take the time prior to each session to efficiently plan out the goal of the session, the skills that will be developed, and the drills that will be incorporated. Utilize drills that keep kids constantly involved and active throughout the session to keep their interest and focus.
Create a culture of inclusion
Help everyone feel included and important by greeting each kid by name at each session. Deepen that feeling of inclusion by using positive reinforcement throughout the session, which also motivates them to repeat the behavior or action.
Get on their level
Literally! Kneeling to praise or correct a kid helps to remove intimidation. Being eye-to-eye with kids also helps to keep their focus and absorb more of the information you are giving them.
End each practice on a positive note
Following each class, keep kids wanting to come back for more by ending with highlights from the class. Kids crave the positive energy, and ending with highlights gives them that positive message to carry with them until next time.
As a coach, you’ll make a significant impact on the development and future of the kids you teach. When it’s all said and done, you’ll look back and appreciate all of the memories you built with the kids you teach, so I hope that these 7 tips for teaching kids will pave a path to a positive coaching experience!
Are you ready to make managing your youth activity center easier? Start your 30-day free trial with Jackrabbit Class today!