We know that parents are the biggest influence on their children’s lives and character, but coaches have such a key role to play in the creation of effective sporting environments and setting the tone to allow parental engagement to flourish. What do we mean by setting the tone? Well this can range from anything as to how coaches behave at training or on match day or the dialogue and messaging that we give both our parents and our players. MORE
Five solutions to odd team numbers at training
Find you have an odd number at training, but you want to have a game? Here’s how to adjust to make things “even”.
In games, a try scorer can swap teams, thus ensuring no one team is always a player down in numbers. It also means no one team benefits from any of the more adept players.
Aside from the main activity, take out an odd number of players and work with them for a few minutes on a side exercise, for instance, tackling.
Run the side exercise for just a couple of minutes, then mix those players back into the main activity and take out a different set of players.
One player could referee for a short while before swapping back in and somebody else taking the whistle. This promotes Law understanding and is good experience for the players to become used to different referees’ interpretations.
One, or any odd number, of players could stand out and observe for a minute or two with an adult coach, and make observations on what has been done well and what could be improved upon when reporting back to the teams.
This promotes game understanding, team self-coaching and positive critique.
Mix and match
Several of these activities could be run in parallel of course. While one player is refereeing, and one coaching, you could also be running “swap shop” within the game.
A “short while” for any of these activities should only be a couple of minutes. This ensures that everybody maximises playing involvement. It also maximises the benefits of rotation to the most players possible.