Recently I saw a coaching session that seemed to be designed not for the kids to have fun but for the coaches to impress their own will to win.
I can just imagine the drop out rate.
The reason kids come to play cricket, in my view, is to have fun. Winning is a factor but without the enjoyment more will leave than stay.
How do good coaches go about this while still teaching the skills of the game?
Keep everyone involved
Nothing spawns boredom faster than sitting around watching someone else do something. One of the first things on a coach's mind is how to involve as many kids as possible at once.
What does this mean practically?
For me it means avoiding one to one coaching when you have a group of kids. You might see improvements in that one person but how do the others feel being ignored?
It also means giving everyone a role in every game or drill. It's easy when you are doing catching or bowling skills but don't forget to manage kids when they are doing batting skills too. You can have fielders and ball feeders even in drills.
Explain things once and keep it simple
Did you ever have a coach who wouldn't shut up about every tiny detail? How much of it did you remember and how much did you just want to have a go yourself?
Most people fall into the latter group so keep your demonstrations short and focus on just one or two coaching points. You and the kids can see a direct improvement.
Find out what they think
A coach I know is very keen on getting feedback from the teams he coaches. He says this works because the kids tell him what they want to get out of playing cricket. He then tries to meet these needs and asks them how he did.
It might seem simple but his results speak for themselves.
Last year no child in his age group left through the entire season.
How many left your club last year?
If the answer is something similar your club is on the right track. If the results are less impressive is it time to look to your coaching aims and methods?
© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008