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what is expected for/from the adults who volunteer to work with children in sport | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Posted in: All other coaching children topics

what is expected for/from the adults who volunteer to work with children in sport

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  • tonylibert

    Dealing with many clubs on their efforts to step into the light regarding coaching methodology I am beginning to see what's been missed. If you have not seen The Magic Helmet please watch it on youtube. A short story on the way a child feels that expectations of him change by entering the arena. Until he steps through that door he is regarded as a child but when he steps on the ice he is challenged as an adult. I have shown this to coaches and talked til they all fall asleep on the danger of over expectation. Yes, actually, watched eyes roll back as I spoke several times. Did not stop me though. In my talks I often come back to the idea that the team has to be safe for players to express themselves and that coaches should learn when less is more.(all of the time) and act in a way that allows players to trust your actions. All good so far. I see kids getting much more freedom to play and try things with positional play taking a bit of a backseat to trying to do the right thing. Autonomy is a great motivational tool and responsibility is wonderful to see in the players. Now, as I get more comfortable seeing the transformation by players to trust the adults I am seeing that the same allowances are not made for the adults. I the evolution of coaching that we have seen due , I think, to an immigration of ideas through online communities as well as economic unions allowing such.

    Is the next challenge to children's sport the understanding that a facilitator should not feel threatened by the other adults? What I am saying is that I am beginning to see that the adults in sport that are on the field with the players should be allowed the same safety and trust we ask our coaches to grant players. In other words, there is no magic whistle that I picked up when I signed on. No magic whistle granted to officials that every call will be right, no magic whistle that will make every practice perfect or every score a plus. Yet every season in every club kids will be chosen up or down depending on loud or quiet parents because this is how coaches insulate themselves. At all levels, a coach loses the chance to do what they love because a parent is unhappy. All coaches understand the politics and how to avoid the pitfalls. I see this not as a parenting issue but a board issue. and that is why I want your input. Is it time that coaches and officials were treated no differently than the players and allowed the chances to try things instead of just acting like robots and spitting out what they have seen online? Should we be spending more time on the psychology of coaches and how they learn best. I can tell you that after 38 years of this I feel like I am learning at a pace that is far above my grade. I do have more thoughts on this if anyone wants a go

  • tonylibert

    So, nobody wants to tell me I am crazy on this one,really?

    i do think we miss an important part of the equation when we dwell on the child and not the coach when it comes to learning 

  • andrewb62
    On 31/07/18 19:49, Tony Libert said:

    So, nobody wants to tell me I am crazy on this one,really?  

    No, not crazy, Tony — it’s an important question,, and one I hope is being considered by Sport England as they re-design the coaching pathway (and qualifications) in the UK.

    see The Coaching Plan for England

    I do agree that coaches need to feel they have the freedom to experiment with their sessions (and the freedom to learn through experience, which has to include failure), but at the same time a ‘coach fail’ is of a different order of magnitude to a ‘player fail’ - the latter, sympathetically dealt with by coach and player(s), is an immediate learning opportunity; the former impacts more people (potentially all of the players in the session and the coach), and can directly impair skill acquisition & enjoyment by the athletes.

    The coach-experimenter probably needs to be trained in reflective practice; access to an experienced mentor could be invaluable (and this, I believe, has been proposed in the new coach development pathway mentioned above).

    The English Football Association, through their “DNA” programme, have introduced coach mentors and top-level guidelines for their Foundation level coaches, concentrating on player engagement through play and confidence on the ball (lots of very small-sided games - 1v1s, 2v2s) - what the sessions look like is seemingly down to the coach (but having players line up behind cones to wait for their turn is strongly discouraged!).

    One major challenge to this laudable FA initiative appears to be the expectation from parents - why aren’t they drilling “skills” & positional play; why don’t they play more?

    So for coaches to be more comfortable making mistakes, there probably needs to be a wider education programme to explain what the coaches are trying to do.

  • tonylibert

    Agreed on all points and you say much better than I. Thank you for that, still, the idea up front is that all people involved are given certain latitude to try things. In the case of a player, it might be trying something and failing. For the coach, it might be messier practices and for the official, it is the understanding that his view is not all-encompassing. These are often the things we hear from others as a bother a hindrance or just plain wrong. Often a person that does not recognize the efforts of the coach as healthy will go to the local board and bring it up. In our area, these boards often side with the first parent to complain. This is what I think needs to be addressed so people in these positions understand better the trust they have placed in their choices and to honor that. if one is to volunteer to coach and is expected to have some educational background then we should also have adults heading the club having a better understanding. How can this be done?

    Thank you for answering and yes I am crazy but its cool

    Up next do coaches in the same leagues have a culture. What is it? Is that healthy?

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