(Guest post from Coach Jenn at Soccer Shots Los Angeles)
I had an “Aha!” moment last week in regards to how to get the kids engaged and enthusiastic about what we’re doing at Soccer Shots. At the school where I’m teaching, I had a short meeting with the principal to talk about the children’s progress and behavior. We identified some of the kids that were getting out of hand and those that were not engaged in the games we were playing. She gave me some tips on how to handle them. Coaches, don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
We separated the children into 2 classes by age and ability. The next week the results were amazing!
The students were more engaged and paid better attention as well as behaved better as a group. I was also able to give them more attention instead of chasing them to keep them present.
Also there was one boy in the class who was always quiet, reserved, tended to wander off. This week he happened to be the only boy in the class. All of a sudden he was excited, coming to me to make sure I saw him score a goal. He took it on himself to help set up the cones for the games we were playing. The dynamic was very interesting. He took on a more alpha role since there were no other boys in the group.
I suggest that coaches mix up the classes if you can. Parents, experiment during your play dates with different mixes of ages and gender. Observe how your child reacts. If you can manage it, watch when he thinks you’re not there vs. when he knows you’re watching. You’ll be surprised by the results!