How to keep kids from getting Bored at practise.

How to keep kids from getting Bored at practise.

Hi all just wondering if there are any coach's that have any good tip for a new coach like me. I am coaching under 6/8yr olds and find they get bored very easy. How do you keep them from getting bored and what fun drills do you use? Cheer James first time coach

James BattCoach, New Zealand
Sportplan TeamAdministrator, United Kingdom

Hello James,

In order to try and get your question out there and find you some top tips from other youth coaches I've posted your question on the Sportplan Facebook page.

In the meantime though here's a couple of links to drills on the site which should help you find some new ideas for your juniors:

All the best,
The Sportplan Team

Jason LakeCoach, New Zealand

Hi James, Best thing to do if Kids are getting bored at practice is to change the drill, "Time on task" is very important. try to reduce downtime and move from one activity to another without delay. Start practice with a game, have a game midway through and end practice with a game utilising the skills that you have concentrated on in the session

Gary ThompsonCoach, England

Hi James

Not that I'm biased at all, being an english coach, but I've found England Hockey's Quicksticks project very good! It's aimed at your age-group (7-11 yrs) and the drill resources are specifically geared towards keeping students with short attention spans engaged (i.e. they're all 'fun' related and a more like games than drills). Not every exercise is good - I certainly filtered some out - but you might find some useful.

Obviously, Quicksticks is an initiative within english hockey and I don't know whether anything like that exists in NZ. Btw, I don't work for EH, so am not trying to promote their products. I hope Sportplan don't take offence to this link:

EDIT: looks like I can't put links in (I posted and the link was removed)

Only problem is that I think the challenge cards (which is what I reckon you want) are a bit pricey IMO.

There are lots of drills on too, which I think could be used for your age-group. Funnily enough, I bought a "100+ practices for coaching hockey" manual written by Bram van Asselt (lead coach on here) ages ago and have literally, this evening, sourced an excellent warm-up drill from it ("name running" - it's on this website too). I'm teaching U14 kids at the moment but the concept of keeping stuff fresh and different to keep engagement with students is still important, as far as i'm concerned, so hopefully putting time in on this website and sifting through the drill library should reward you with some stuff you can use.

I do hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs but I've generally found that kids love compeition, so if you can turn whatever you're trying to teach into some kind of race / relay, etc, that would probably keep them going. One game I've always had success with is "bulldog", where you have to dribble the ball from 1 area to another. You have lots of dribblers but only start with 1 or 2 intercepters, who have to make a clean tackle or force the dribbler to lose control of the ball. Anyone who loses the ball becomes an intercepter. I swear the kids just can't get enough of this game.

Also, given co-ordination and hockey quality is low at this age, keeping things simple and being very positive is crucial too.

Finally, having had to work with your age-group and found it a challenge, I reckon Jason is on the right tracks too.

All the best,

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