It’s no secret that sports recruitment starts very early. As soon as a parent sees the potential in their child, they will want to give everything they have to help them achieve their goal and take their talents to the next level.
This can put a lot of pressure on children. They have to behave and work hard, even if their chances of reaching a professional level are small.
The coach plays a critical role in a player’s development.
He acts as a guide, a landmark.
It’s probably not for nothing that you have good memories of a soccer coach who has marked your career. Through their approach with players or the way they teach, a coach’s influence on athletes can be huge and can have a positive influence on their progression.
The relationship between a coach and a young athlete is important, regardless of whether or not they practice a sport at the professional level.
A coach’s magic is that he allows children to develop both as athletes and as individuals. He is more than just a person who shows you how to stop a ball.
How does a coach help athletes surpass themselves?
Here are a few aspects that a coach must have in his repertoire in order to have a positive influence on his team.
5 necessary aspects to help a young athlete’s progression
1. Involve the parents
The coach is one of the most influential people in the eyes of children after, of course, the parents.
Why not work with them?
At the beginning of the season, organize a meeting with your player’s parents. You will be able to clearly explain your vision, your expectations, and your learning methods to them.
Explain to them where you would like to take their children during the season. Beyond the victories and the points scored, it is often the pleasure and the need to be active that prevails.
It’s important to be in listening mode. Parents can offer relevant ideas and will appreciate being listened to. Don’t hesitate to ask parents to get involved throughout the season.
Not only during games and tournaments, but also when exercises to be done at home are given to your young players.
Establish rules with them, for example, to warn at least 48 hours before a practice if a player must be absent.
If a good communication system is established between the parents and the coach, it will certainly have an indirect positive impact on the player’s development.
2. Be patient and set your limits!
Never forget that as a coach, especially at the recreational level, you do not have the responsibility of developing professional athletes.
On the other hand, a coach contributes to the development of life skills, such as confidence and character in young athletes.
Of course, confidence, skills and character are not qualities that develop overnight. It can take years for a young person to acquire these personality traits.
This is why a coach has to be patient.
It’s not always easy to manage a boys soccer team full of 12-13 year olds. They talk all the time, they don’t always listen to you, they want to move and “kick” the ball.
So it’s important for the coach to set his limits.
If they have a hard time staying in place, you can always use cones to mark out the field. Make it clear to the players that this is the training area and force them to stay within it.
Prepare your practices according to the team’s behavior.
If your players are too excited from the start and have difficulty concentrating, start with a more active warm-up.
Remember that a coach is not a teacher either. It is normal to not have all the tools necessary to ensure that the team stays calm, as a teacher does in the classroom for example.
Parents can play an important role by talking to their child before practices to encourage them to follow the coach’s instructions.
Discipline is also a learning experience, both in the context of play and in life.
Take deep breaths and don’t hesitate to ask for tips from qualified people in order to improve.
A coach who loses his cool doesn’t set a good example for his team. Remember that even though they are 17-18 years old, they are still children.
Manage your emotions
In a position of authority, it is essential to be in control of your emotions.
For example, if a player gets angry at the referee during a game because he gave him a 2-minute penalty, the coach needs to send the right message to his player.
Instead, the player should be taken aside and made to understand why he was given a penalty.
If the coach shows signs of frustration, it is obvious that this does not promote positive team and player development.
No player or parent appreciates seeing a coach throwing sticks on the ice as a sign of frustration. It will simply make the players no longer want to take part in the activities.
3. Always be prepared!
“Practice as you play”. You’ve probably heard this line thousands of times.
Planning a practice or a game is THE most important thing a coach can do. You need to prepare your game plans and show the players that you are ready!
The same goes for formal documents. If you have documents for parents to sign for a tournament, you need to prepare them to make sure you don’t forget them if your mind is elsewhere.
If you find that this task is keeping you from focusing on the development of your players, there are a number of ways to deal with this problem.
You can use a sports team organization software. An application like this offers you a multitude of functionalities that will help you manage your team’s planning.
You will be able to know the exact number of players that will be present at your practice, which will allow you to plan the groups for the exercises.
It is also possible to share PDF files on the application, so you will be able to share important documents to be signed by parents and even preparation exercises to do before the next game.
Good planning allows you to focus more on your team’s goals and to concentrate on the progress of your players.
4. Establish good communication with players
One of the best ways to help young athletes progress is certainly to establish a good and trusting relationship with them. You need to be open and listen to their ideas.
If you see that you often have to repeat yourself, but when you show them how to do the exercise it attracts their attention, you may need to review your learning methods.
Drawing and reproducing exercises are probably techniques that your players understand best.
As they sit in class all day long, it is obvious that interactive demonstrations are more likely to get their attention.
A sports team organization software can also help you communicate with your players. You can send messages to each member and interact with them quickly and efficiently.
The coach needs to go at the rhythm of his players and the more he listens, the stronger the relationship of trust will be.
5. Always have the player’s safety at heart
As a coach, it’s important to offer your players a safe training environment and equipment that promotes their progression.
Of course, you must make sure that there’s nothing on the playing surface that could cause an injury.
But it’s also recommended to pay attention to the equipment worn by the players. Don’t be afraid to deny access to a player if they don’t have the necessary protective equipment.
Of course he won’t be happy, but these are life experiences that make a player a better person.
The same goes for injuries, it can be difficult for an injured player to have to give up playing for several weeks. However, this is necessary to prevent an injury from getting worse.
Invite the players to come and watch practices anyway and plan a gradual return to play.
Health is much more important than winning.
More than a sport
The important thing for a coach is not to win. Of course, it’s a little “extra”. But the most important thing for a coach is to educate young kids with sports.
A coach who listens to his players helps them overcome their fears and challenges in life.
They help young athletes gain self-confidence and develop a positive relationship with the people around them outside of sports.
These are skills that will be useful to them in their everyday life.
At MonClubSportif, we promise you a well-designed application in constant development. Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions or if you need support for the use of our sports organization management tool!