Coaching Tip No.11

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How are your sessions RATED? – When considering content for sessions, coaches (and players) will in the main focus on the key components of tactics and strategy, techniques and skills, physical conditioning and mental skills. Key to providing sessions that achieve the goals you and the players have set for yourselves will be getting the balance of these right through-out the season. Certainly in the pre-season period physical conditioning will be important and may occupy a significant section of the session. Yet many coaches fail to spend time really considering the content of sessions to ensure that it matches the demands of the sport and the needs of the players. A simple tool to help you with this ask yourself how your sessions are RATED – Is the content Relevant to the needs of the players and the sport they are engaged in? For example if the sport is of a high intensity, intermittent nature, are the exercises you are using going to achieve the desired increase in say anaerobic capacity? Are the activities you use Appropriate to the age and stage of development of the players? For example, 11 years are not sufficiently developed to engage in the high intensity work of high performing adults, so are your activities appropriate to their stage of maturation? Do you ensure that the work you are doing with your players is Timed? Do your sessions contain the right balance of work and recovery periods and are they of the appropriate length? Does what you have planned Engage the players? Do you vary activities to achieve the same outcomes, employ activities that players find challenging, or use games to encourage high levels of energy? And most importantly, are your sessions Demanding of players? Do your sessions ask questions of your players, do you challenge them to improve, and are the activities you use of the required intensity to develop the component of fitness you are aiming to improve? If you are about to plan your pre-season programme, do some research and get your sessions RATED!!