It’s not easy to coach kids. You are dealing with such a wide variety of skill, interest and energy levels that getting the entire team focused on one drill can be a victory in and of itself. Youth sports organizations can only provide so much structure. They will help you coordinate game and practice times along with fields. But when it comes to conducting practice, the flow and success of the session is entirely dependent on how organized you are. You can’t rely on coming up with a plan for practice while the team is taking their warm up lap. It is up to you as the coach to know exactly what you want to accomplish before practice starts. But don’t stress! We can walk you through how to construct a plan to make each and every practice a success.
Use Practice Time Wisely
Start by looking at the total length of your practice. Depending on the ages of the kids you’re coaching, you’ll likely have 1-2 hours of practice time each session. Since you coach kids, you have to allow time at the start for them to warm up and stretch. But you can’t leave them to do so on their own. Lead them in a warm up lap and some stretches. This might take up the first 10-15 minutes of practice, so you will want to take charge and engage your team as soon as practice starts.
Keep Your Team Engaged
Depending on the sport and age group you are coaching, you will need to be thoughtful in how you break the team out into drills. If they are young, you may do well to have everyone focus on the same fundamentals at the same time, such as passing a soccer ball back and forth. This will help you keep practice structured and productive. If you are coaching older kids, you can likely trust your team to work in small groups under your direction. No matter the age, the key is to move from warmups to drills quickly. This will both help maximize your practice time and hold the focus of your team.
Reward Your Team
After working through a variety of drills, give your team the opportunity to apply the skills they just learned in some sort of game simulation. Whether you are trying to work on a specific scenario or you open it up to a scrimmage, give your team the chance to build up their confidence and end practice on a good note. Knowing they will be able to put these new skills to work will give your team something to look forward to and motivate them throughout practice.
Have a Great Practice, Have a Great Season
Leading your team in productive practices will help them continue to grow within the game, regardless of what game that is. Trusted Coaches is here to help with everything else that it takes to have a fun, exciting season. We ensure that all of our coaches are prepared to lead their teams as well as respond in the event of possible concussions or other first aid needs. More than that, our coaches are firm believers that skill development and the love of the game are far more important than wins and losses.
If you are interested in sharing your knowledge and passion for sports, consider enrolling today.