Four Coaching Tips for 2014

  • January 01, 2014
  • Alex Blackman

It's the start of a new year and the first games of 2014 will be taking place this weekend, so there's no time for feeling sorry for yourself as you nurse the remnants of a New Year's hangover.

The New Year is the perfect time to set your team and players goals, a bit like New Year's resolutions, whether that be winning your league, improving fitness using personal and team tests and most importantly having fun. Personal improvement goals aren't just for your players though, as coach you should challenge yourself to do the following:

1.Variety: It's the spice of the life and the same applies to sport. Make sure you change things up regularly and get everyone involved (avoid games/drills where players sit out on the sidelines, instead create smaller groups so everyone can be involved).

2.Communication: Be positive and clear. Encourage players, 55% of communication is conveyed through nonverbal elements (such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc), so if you inject your session with energy your players will feed off your enthusiasm (it was Vince Lombard who said "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm).

3. Safety and sensitivity: Always ensure your children are safe by checking the playing area and the equipment. Also make it your mission this year to focus on players' mental wellbeing. Goal setting, teaching emotional control (especially with regards Fair Play), concentration and confidence in themselves are all fantastic qualities which can be developed through sport.

4. Fun: Ultimately that's why we all play sport, to have fun, to learn and to play with our friends. Don't lose sight of this. As it's the start of the year as coach you're going to need to get involved this week - no standing on the sidelines at training - enjoy it and your players will too.

For more tips on how to plan great sessions read our planning tips below and click here to start using the Planner.

Session planning tips for all stages in the season

The best coaches plan so that they can spend the session coaching.

Here at Sportplan we think that he who fails to plan, plans to fail. That's why we think it's important to plan ahead when coaching and have included some Sportplan tips to help you get started.

Why plan?

  • Well-planned sessions are more like to stay on track and help you to achieve your objectives
  • Planning sessions helps you to visualize and prepare for the session - predicting potential problems and planning around them
  • Avoid running haphazard sessions by having a back up plan, in case of bad weather or low/high turn-out of players
  • Well-planned sessions can be shared with and easily used by other coaches, in case you can't be there to coach your team yourself
  • All your sessions are automatically saved on Sportplan - so you can review your old plans, use the parts that worked well and change the bits that didn't to improve your future coaching

Getting started?

A bit stuck for where to start? Well try using these brainstorming and session planning ideas as a springboard:

  • Focus on one aspect that you would like to improve (only one). This could be anything from skills to tactics or team movement.
  • Just like a good story, make sure your sessions have a beginning (warm up), a middle (skill/tactical development) and an end (final game to reinforce learned skill)
  • Ensure all aspects of your session incorporate this focus. For example, if you're working on passing make sure your warm up, drills and final game work on passing!
  • Make sure you've got enough equipment (bibs, cones, balls etc). It's always better to have too much rather than too little!
  • Ensure there's a logical order to the session, from warm up to final game. This will help things flow smoothly and helps your players to get the most out of the session
  • Lastly - make sure everyone is safe and don't be afraid to veer off course, just because you've planned - remember, a plan is just that, a plan and if something important comes up at training don't be afraid to go with it!

If you think we've missed anything send us an email - we'd love to hear your top tips and coaching suggestions.