Coaching Tip No.9

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Adapt, Adapt, Adapt!! It might sound very obvious but as children grow they change and develop – emotionally, physically, psychologically. During this period of change they do not possess the physical maturity, competence or confidence of adults and adult performers. Yet many coaches fail to recognise this, creating coaching sessions based on what they see and learn from adult performance, or from the predetermined session plans of other coaches or companies keen to sell the ‘ready-made plan’. To serve the unique needs of the children you coach, adapt your games, activities, practices and skills to meet the needs of the children and young people you coach at their stage of development. Modify the games and activities you use to make the ‘challenge’ appropriate to the age and level of competence – change the size of the playing area, alter the number of players, vary the level of ‘competition’, adapt the rules, use appropriate equipment, modify the language you use. Adapt both your coaching practice and your coaching sessions and watch your participants grow!!