July Coaches’ Corner
July 14th, 2021
Tips for When Practices Start Back Up
Just the thought of the Fall/Winter seasons starting back up is exciting. The anticipation for this season is even greater as some sports are coming back after being off for extended periods of time while other sports are gearing up for more travel than they had the last two seasons.
To help keep your players engaged (this season or any season) here are a few tips:
#1 Don't Get Frustrated
Regardless of the age or skill level you coach, players don't always perform their best.
Focus on utilizing drills that are challenging enough so your players don't get bored, but not too difficult where they get frustrated and you lose their focus.
#2 Be Energetic
When you're at your best and you're full of energy, it will rub off on your athletes.
You must first be engaged if you want your players to follow suit.
#3 Use Small-Sided Games
This really helps when your players start to slow down during a drill…switch to 1 on 1; 2 on 1; 3 on 3; etc. mini games. Athletes love to compete.
This adjustment to your practice plan helps get athletes from sluggish to full intensity.
#4 Don't Stop A Drill Too Soon
“When in doubt, let them play it out”
Often when running a drill, athletes will make mistakes. Sometimes you wonder if they were even listening. I encourage coaches to let most drills run for a few minutes, no matter how ugly it gets.
This allows you to truly see what needs to be corrected and how your players react when the drill doesn't go as smoothly. Ask the athletes how they think the drill went, you might be surprised how much they realized their mistakes but they need your leadership to get them back on track.
It's important for athletes to be engaged in the conversation instead of the coaches doing all the preaching.
#5 Switch Up Your Practice Plans
As coaches, it's easy to get caught up being too routine with running your practices.
The more you can change up your practices, the less your athletes will get bored and disengaged.
Regardless if you're a new coach or someone who has coached for a lifetime, it's important to review these basic tips for getting the most out of each of your practices. If you become complacent, your athletes will follow. As the leader, your approach will be the key to your team's success.