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Engaging disinterested girls! | Coaching Youth (age 13-18)

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Coaching Youth (age 13-18)

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Posted in: Coaching Youth (age 13-18), General Forum

Engaging disinterested girls!

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  • acw147

    Hi all,

    I coach a number of sports at a girls school and absolutely love it. The girls are great and really receptive. However, there are a few times when there are one or two girls who are completely uninterested in the specific sport (or sport and physical activity more generally!) just do not want to buy in! I've tried a number of different activities and approaches, but they just don't fancy it. Sometimes when this happens, their friends will get distracted and end up not partaking in the session as much too. Would be great to hear any suggestions and to get people's thoughts on this! 



  • Blake

    Hi Alex, I spoke to Nicky Fuller, who is an expert in behaviour management, for a blog I wrote on inspiring positive behaviour in your sessions. You might find some of her advice helpful to your particular issue surrounding disinterested young performers. The link is below. Thanks.


  • dan6969

    HI Alex,

    I coach at a heap of schools both boys and girls. Are you able to explain a little more background about the disinterested ones. For instance is sport compulsory, is this out of hours sport and what sport and we talking about? I'll come back to you with any ideas I have

  • acw147

    Hi Dan,

    It's a girls' school and it's a games lesson within the school day - so it is compulsory. In this instance I was coaching it was lacrosse but I have noticed it in netball and tennis, and other sports, when observing others coaching too.



  • dan6969

    I don't think it would be uncommon. I coach at a school who has this situation because mainly they have not been strict on attendance. Some students just don't want to be there. If you don't know the student other than at this class then maybe it is difficult to get a connection.

    But getting the connection is something we as coaches/teachers must get or at least attempt. I link me being at a lesson with the fact that there must be fun involved. If it is not fun then it's a waste of time me being there. In other words, I make it a rule and let the students know that they must have fun.

    Do they get marks toward their school report? 

    So what is fun. I suggest asking the students that seem uninterested as to what is a fun thing for them. Might be math. If it is I use scoring, tables, percentages and aim to link whatever that is back to something linked to the sport. I strive to teach the whole sport and my sport is volleyball but if the students are not on board then I use the volleyball and we play something close to volleyball. How far can they throw and check the distance but only if they can throw then catch the ball that has travelled. So that might only be 5 metres. I aim to get the kids who are not interested to have some say in what we do or get them to do something else with the volleyball on a separate court or separate space near the court. If I can get them engaged in something using the volleyball then I aim to get them to keep some type of score. Then once they are scoring I usually have them on my side, in other words they most likely are ready to join the mainstream students.. Sometimes it's a confidence issue, sometimes we just dont know what is going on in their lives and they might want to chat or not. The key is to get them doing something active, not giving any punishment and then link it back to what you need to tech them and see if they are ready to get involved.

    Let me know if this makes sense or if you have tried this.



    At times I have linked the lesson with the fact that in a Private School situation that the parents are paying for me to be there and i

  • acw147

    Hi Dan,

    Many thanks for this - great to hear your thoughts! Will give it a go.



  • robertkmaaye

    Hi Alex

    Some great advice from Dan Higgins and also in Blake's article. It would be interesting to hear how you get on.

    I thought you might also like to know about a new 1st4sport eLearning suite called PE: Confidence that has been released. The courses are for teaching staff in primary schools, who would like to learn tactics to overcome the challenges of teaching PE.  And for coaches who would benefit from learning strategies and techniques to deal with the challenges of coaching in a school environment. You ‘learn by doing’ by making decisions in real-life online scenarios and seeing the consequences of those decisions.

    Given your post one of the courses in the suite PE Confidence: Managing Behaviour in PE is ideal and might also give you some useful strategies to help with engaging the girls.

    If interested you can find out more about the courses here.



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