Get it right – Use appropriate ‘models’. Although professional sport occupies a very small percentage of all sports participation, it occupies almost all media coverage. It is a not surprising therefore, given its visibility, that many coaches use it as a model on which to base their coaching, and many young participants see it as their inspiration. Whilst the latter is understandable and provides goals for young people, the former is not without its issues.
Many coaches at an amateur, or ‘junior’ level, fail to recognise that the participants standing in front of them are not equipped to the same physical, mental or technical level of that of professional sports performers nor are they at the same advanced stage of maturation, learning and performance.
If you are coaching at amateur or junior levels take time to consider the stage of learning and performance of those you coach and what the relevant model for their development might look like e.g. early, intermediate or advanced? Ensure your planning takes this into account and the content of your sessions includes progressions appropriate to their needs. When they are advanced and proficient enough to ‘bend it like Beckham’ they will thank you for it!