Ten years of coaching without reflection is simply one year of coaching repeated ten times (Wade Gilbert and Pierre Trudel, The Sports Coach as Educator: Re-conceptualising Sports Coaching Sports Coaching, p114)
- Children are NOT mini-adults (A mantra I picked up from Dr Martin Toms and Richard Bailey)
- Coaching children is about relationships. We must nurture and enhance them.
- Coaching is the difference we make to young people’s lives
- The coach is there to facilitate learning and development
- An expert coach can create and support learning with any group regardless of ability. An elite youth coach is not necessarily an expert youth coach
- Learning and development are non-linear. Therefore talent development is non-linear
- Each child is unique. One size does not fit all
- It is about drawing out potential. Not just potential in terms of performance but more importantly human potential.
- A safe to fail environment- one that encourages process and values effort and perseverance. Mistakes are a powerful part of learning.
- Find a balance between structured and unstructured practice and structured and unstructured play- activities. Parents should play their part and encourage this balance. Play can also be spontaneous practice!
- Development is non-linear. Learning is non-linear. Therefore talent is non-linear
- It is their sport not ours. Empower them!
The child and adult in sport, do they have the same motives?
- Youth sport has become big business. This means it has become “adult business” with adult expectations, adult rules and often driven by adult motives.
- It is more common today that the child’s first contact environment is an adult organised environment
- Many adults believe that children can only learn in adult organised environments. What is really worrying is that children are starting to believe this
- The race to the bottom is in full flow. The youth sport landscape is full of clubs and organizations that are competing with each other for the hearts and minds of children. This is driving the recruitment age down
- Children are being forced from a natural play environment to a practice environment earlier than ever
- These adult-centric environments often promote a single focus in one sport with the added complexity of an early-selection process
- Youth sport has become big business, influencing parents and children on ideas around development and learning and what it should look like