How does a coach cater for differing skill levels between participants and what do they need to consider when developing programs for junior sport?
Junior sport should be all about fun, but it also offers a host of other opportunities for children to gain social skills, build self esteem, learn about fair play, meet people from different social and cultural backgrounds, and develop physical skills.
Young athletes – from early childhood through to late adolescence – are constantly developing and changing, which means coaches need to also be adaptable and do more than simply deliver scaled-down versions of adult programs.
Junior sporting coaches should be aware of the different capabilities of each child and match training to their needs. Following are some tips to guide you when coaching children:
Children need lots of opportunities for unstructured play, so plan a variety of activities to keep them engaged and give them plenty of time to learn new skills.
Coaches of young athletes also need to ensure that every child or young person who takes part in sport is able to participate in a fun and safe environment, and be protected from neglect and physical, sexual and emotional abuse. To help ensure this happens, coaches should:
All sporting clubs should provide guidelines for coaches and other personnel to ensure the safe, inclusive, fair and fun participation of children in sport. Go to the Play by the Rules website for more information about Working with Children and to the Templates section for easy-to-use templates, including: Disability Inclusion Policy and Drop off and pick up of children.