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It’s Groundhog Day, again!

Stuck in a rut?

Most of us in life follow the strict and repetitive cycle of our day-to-day routines. Wake up, go to work, go home, have dinner, go to bed, wake up, and here we go again, REPEAT 5 times over.

It’s an easy trap to fall into and an easy life, but sometimes it can be infuriatingly boring; and before you know it, it’s the weekend…AGAIN, and what did you do different this week? I can probably answer that for you – NOTHING! Did you better yourself that week? Did you learn or teach yourself something new? Probably not!

A small percentage of us think outside the box, become more experimental and adventurous, and try to keep ourselves on our own toes. This isn’t easy, or all the time possible, but it is certainly achievable. I’m not talking taking drastic measures here!

Do you transfer this type of life into your coaching, and sessions?

Do you find yourself turning up to sessions, same children, with the same layout, same structure, and same repetitive introductions and speeches at the end of the sessions? Do you use identical ‘group attention’ techniques week in, week out?

In some ways the children know what to expect each week, and I am sure it works to a degree, because they probably don’t know any different. However, the glint of excitement in their eyes, and anticipation of what is to come may have well and truly disappeared, and it will – session by session.

The children already know what you are going to say, how you’re going to say it, and probably what types of games and activities they are going to do. Evidently they can read you and your sessions like a book.

boys talking to football coach

It’s an easy trap to fall into until the same bulk of children who had been attending the club week after week don’t sign up, and your club numbers begin to dwindle – some kids sign up but miss 2 out of 6 sessions and you only begin to notice at this point. Not only are you trying to achieve participation targets (i.e. at least 12 per club), but keeping children motivated in sport is huge, and the importance of their progression is even bigger. On top of that, surely a coach wants to become the best coach possible? – Exciting, likeable, target driven and passionate for progression. To achieve this you do need to think outside the box occasionally. Spend a little extra time educating yourself, researching new games and activities. Keep the children switched on by doing something a little different. More importantly, you want to keep yourself switched on and entertained. Children need to be constantly engaged and enthused in order to make any advances in activity and sport, and at primary school age and level, you are pretty much responsible for the children’s future interest and participation in the sport you are teaching.

You may have a full club with great numbers, but ask yourself are you getting the most out of the sessions or are you and the children just going through the motions?

You don’t have to change you as a coach. You just have to tweak the way in which it is delivered. Freshen up the content, set different tasks, come up with themes, shorten the vocabulary and time spent talking in order to increase the time children are active. Try to make each session different to the next and most importantly HAVE FUN!

Callum Kearns