Rhys Davies is an Academy Coach Development Officer at London Irish, as well as head coach with HAC mens team in London and Berkshire Ladies. He has taken social media by storm with his great resources around being more effective as a coach when using different games. In this podcast, we develop his themes around challenges, effective coaching and how to manage training to give players a fantastic game experience. MORE
5 ways to keep young players engaged
Know what children want and then change your way of coaching to keep them coming back for more.
1. MAKE THEM LIKE WHAT THEY HAVE TO LEARN
Children are fascinating. They’re a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for. They have an advantage over adults since they’ve no care in the world for something they’re not interested in.
Adults seem to believe that they have to act a certain way or behave in a certain manner for certain audiences or situations. Children don’t have this way of thinking. If they like something, find something engaging or fun then they will be invested in it.
2. BE PASSIONATE BECAUSE YOU REALLY BELIEVE
Children see through fake passion. If you aren’t passionate in what you are delivering or how you deliver it they will see through this and turn their attention to something else.
Coach what you believe in. They will sense that passion and follow you.
3. BE CREATIVE IN YOUR DELIVERY
You have to be creative in how you deliver a session, keeping the attention of one child can be hard so what about a bunch of them that you are coaching? Stay fun, positive and creative in your actions. Body language and tone of voice are essential for this. The actual content of what you are saying is not actually that important.
Take a clown for example. The majority of the time they don’t say anything but what they do is act in a positive engaging manner, they are very creative in their delivery (wearing funny clothes and loud colours) and then what they are delivering is never the same or lasts for a long time. This is where the innovation comes in.
4. LET THEM HAVE A GO AND THEN MOVE ONE
When coaching youth it’s very important not to focus on one aspect for too long. Be innovative and make frequent changes. You may think “well, they aren’t successful at this one thing so we need to stay on this”. No, move on, it’s okay for them to fail.
The objective of coaching children is to allow them to fail, to let them become as creative, passionate and innovating in their thinking as they can be. It creates an environment for making decisions and finding solutions to problems.
If you too are innovative, passionate and creative as a person and as a coach, the children sense this, and respond in the same way.
5. SMILE BECAUSE YOU ENJOY THEIR LEARNING
Don’t be afraid to smile. Smiles are infectious. It’s natural for a child to smile especially when engaging in physical activity. The more smiling you do as a coach the more they will, and the more engaged they will be. You’re not telling jokes, you are simply enjoying their success and their achievements.