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Five important to-do tasks that you should be on your “lockdown” list | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) | ConnectedCoaches

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Home » Groups » Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) » blogs » Dan Cottrell » Five important to-do tasks that you should be on your “lockdown” list
Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Five important to-do tasks that you should be on your “lockdown” list

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These are uncharted times. No team training, many players stuck at home.

Here are some priorities to help you and your players make the most of the challenging situation.


Already the internet is full of great ideas of what to do "at home".

However, there's a danger that these create a confusing mishmash which soon loses its purpose.

You need to create a training plan for your players that has a clear intent.

Give your players a time when they should train. Tell them what they should cover and why.

Of course, they can help you devise a plan. But, have a plan.

So, number one on your to-do list. Create next week's training plan. Work around typical training nights, not something for every day.


To train with a clear intent, you and your players need goals.

Simple targets should start by being time-based. For example, by Wednesday I will have written a plan.

After that, you should use the SMART acronym.

Specific to your team and their needs.

Measurable, so the players can show that the goals have been achieved.

Agreed with the players, so they buy into your process.

Realistic enough that all the players have a chance of achieving the goal. You can set up bonus targets for the keener players.

Timed - the first part of planning process.

So, number 2 on the to-do list. Set some smart targets.


Create a list of places away from the house where players can train, and keep safe.

These can be parks, beaches, hills or even up and down the pavement.

Give clear guidance on how these spaces can be used.

And, essentially, do not specify meeting times. You are not organising undercover team training.

Which means number 3 on the to-do list is find some alternative places for players to train.


Your team dynamic has changed. You are not in front of them, sensing their energy on the training pitch.

You have to imagine that you are creating a new, stronger community, using the old community as a basis.

A new community needs an identity. It needs a purpose. And it needs those in the community to work for each other.

So, while it's not much different from what was there before, you have to involve the players (and parents if appropriate) in the way it develops.

Reach out to the community asking them for their support. Give them or design with them tasks to work on.

For example, can you find three ways to improve our jumping ability? Or can you design a running circuit in a 10m square?

Crucially, everyone should be able to find an identifiable role. For instance, player A is our jumping specialist.

Create or find a role for all your new community is your fourth point on your to-do list.


Now is an ideal time to expand your coaching by working on areas you didn't have time for before.

Start with a simple task. For example, read a chapter of a coaching book. Reflect on it, ask others in your coaching community about it, blog about it (get in touch with Rob Maaye if you want to post it in the ConnectedCoaches community), make notes on it. See if you can rewrite a session plan or activity that puts it into a different context.

Of course, myself and my usual channels (Rugby Coach Weekly) will have plenty of nudges or ideas on where to look and what to look for (check out our free eLearning course on fault correct and praise).

Number five is allocate a specified time in your day when you are going to work on your coaching skills.

If you enjoyed this you can find all my other ConnectedCoaches blogs here.

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Comments (1)


All excellent advice.
I particularly like “number one on your to-do list. Create next week's training plan”
I think there is going to be plenty of time for planning, so it is as well to do it properly, and think long(er) term.

On a side note - I am enrolled on the FutureLearn course “How to Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students”; almost certainly way to much detail for coaching, but I’m sure there will be some nuggets.

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