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How to inspire good behaviour in your sessions | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) | ConnectedCoaches

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Home » Groups » Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) » blogs » Blake Richardson » How to inspire good behaviour in your sessions
Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Rob Maaye, Val Andrews and 17 others like this.

Comments (6)


Excellent article that addresses the key issues that behaviour management presents for all coaches. I frequently have coaches who work in Primary Schools asking for guidance on this topic; the Sports Coach UK links look particularly useful.

 · Rob Maaye and Blake Richardson like this.
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Dan Cottrell said:

With a nod to the Learning Spy (David Didau), I think that junior club coaches have an extremely tough job instilling behaviour. So all this excellent advice above can be for nought if there's not a proper club culture in place to start with. And here's why:
> Often the coach is a parent. Misbehaviour by one's own child is tough to deal with because they know which buttons to press and when.
> Because club sport is supposed to be "fun", the children expect it, loosen their expectations of what's good behaviour and take the opportunity to lark about. Take that to the other extreme and no-one would turn up if the coach simply shouts and punishes any form of laxity.
> There are few sanctions available for behaviour problems. Unlike a school environment, there's no-one up the line to send the child to.
> Anyone who's been in a classroom knows that there's an implied authority for the first few weeks of the start of a school year. "Don't smile till Xmas" and the kids know where they stand. Most junior coaches don't have that chance, or are facing the same group year after year. Any implied authority has slipped away a long time ago.

> As Blake and Nicky expertly point out, you have to work hard to create the right environment for good behaviour and deal with the problems quickly and appropriately as they arise.
> You need to have a clear code of conduct which allows you to exclude players from training if they don't follow the guidelines. This sounds very tough. But it's your valuable time as a volunteer. I've excluded my own son for three weeks before. It was a lot easier coaching for those three weeks, though the pressure at home was more intense!
> Deal with the behaviour not the child. Deal with the individual not the group.
> Be extremely clear on your standards and stick to them. Kids are evil! They will seek out weaknesses and exploit it. If you are rigid in what you believe and keep to it, there will be less chances to subvert the process.

The club sets the standards. Everyone needs to be constantly reminded of these standards. You keep to the standards yourself. You make it clear that those who don't, won't continue to train or play with the team. Then, your excellent, well-planned sessions have more chance to shine, which helps create an even better atmosphere and much less chance of poor behaviour.

 · Blake Richardson and Amanda Hoynes like this.
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Val Andrews said:

A great and informative article. In my experience, the juvenile coaches are thrown in at the deep end. What I suggest is that experienced coaches holding a workshop on preventative discipline (Rainer Marten's, Successful Coaching), disruptive scenarios, role play,simulation, and how to handle situations is extremely helpful. It also helps clarify what is and is not acceptable behaviour. The lack of defined boundaries in the coaches can be the source of indiscipline together with a lack of planning.

 · Blake Richardson and Dan Higgins like this.
Avg: 4.26 / 5 (1votes)
Pat Wood said:

paid for the module and completed - how do i get my certificate? Need to show to request money back from running group.

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Rob Maaye said:

Hi Pat if you email hubenquiries@coachwise.ltd.uk someone will be able to help you with that.

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Mark Sheppard said:

You often see the less experienced coach given the more challenging group. Either in ability or behaviour. The drill/exerercise becomes the focus without setting the environmental framework it operates in. This article lays out clearly how behaviour impacts on outcome. A code of conduct that works for the recreational summer camps I run is:
Listen when others are sharring
Manage yourself not others
Be kind to each other
Notice when your attention wanders
Do the drill to learn the skill
Some of these come from the children themselves. Having ownership and agreement helps get buy in.

If they misbehave I get them to sit out and reflect come back when they think they are ready. Using exercises as punishment undermines the values of physical development. See too many boot camp mentality coaching. Teaching them the skills of managing their emotions and developing focus are integral social skills.

I expect we are all on message in this forum. The coaches who need it are unlikely to be reading this.

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Excellent article and some really good reasoned strategies put across. I am interested in any thoughts around this related to sports where the Elite level is reached earlier in development. Working within acrobatic gymnastics tops can often be working at a high level at 12-13 years of age undertaking complex and potentially dangerous skills. . Within Acrobatic gymnastics this situation can often be complicated by the fact that the top may be working with 12-16 year old bases who are clearly at a different stage of their development.I think lots of the strategies and approaches in the infographic still apply but wondered if anybody had experience of similar types of situations. Thanks.

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