Sport can have a very powerful and positive influence on people- especially young people. Not only can it provide opportunities for enjoyment and achievement; it an also develop valuable qualities such as self-esteem, leadership and teamwork. These positive effects can only take place if sport is ran by the right people, the coaches who place the welfare of all young people first and adopt practices that support, protect and empower them.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines coaching as: to tutor, train, give hints to, prime with facts” All these aspects apply in coaching but there are different ways in which they can be delivered. It is important that coaches are aware of the different styles which participants can relate to. Coaches should have the ability to adapt their styles to suit the needs of their participants. Naturally people who devote their time to coaching must satisfy their own needs or they cease to it. At the same time there should be recognition of the participants’ needs and a desire to meet them.
Some coaches do not recognise motives and needs of their participants, and do not put their welfare above everything else, therefore also putting pressure on the participants’ to succeed. Coaches may not have the same personality traits as the athletes and therefore they may be unable to get on very well and have a conflict in personality, causing the athlete to give up or reduce the amount of effort and enthusiasm they put into the sport. It is important that every coach remembers that every participant is different.
Each has different needs and all wish to play their own game. A coach needs to understand how to approach each of these participants and gain a relationship with each of them to suit their needs. The coach needs to understand the different reasons that their participants join in for, for example whether they are there to gain achievements or just to have fun and meet new people. All coaches have direct responsibility for technical, physiological and psychological factors. Technical factors include skills, tactics, players’ roles and the method of play.
Physiological factors has a main emphasis on fitness for the participants and ensuring a warm-up and cool-down is present in the coaching session. Psychological factors concerns the motivation of the participants. However, there are constraints which impose restrictions such as the facilities, participants, finance, and time. The two attributes which work together to change potential to reality are knowledge and communication. Good communication is vital to good coaching as coaches have to communicate in different ways in order to coach successfully.
Communication can be defined as “the exchange of information between a sender and a receiver and the inference of meaning between participants” (Co’ Reilly and Pondry 1996) Communication is the exchange of information, facts, ideas, and meanings. The communication process can be used to inform, coordinate, and motivate people. Being a good communicator is not easy, it involves a number of skills. This assignment looks at three group’s 25-minute coaching sessions, including our groups, and critically analyses each of them.
The coaching session was planned to take place within a time period of 25 minutes for each group of four sports science students. We were given a group of eight children between the ages of ten and twelve years old to coach a sport or activity of our choice. As the children were having three sessions in one time period, the warm up and cool down needed to have greater emphasis in the first and last sessions. We all had to be aware of the mix in ability of the children and the variety of their behaviour. In our coaching group there was Tamsyn Court, Charles Corlett and Emma Cowley.
We met many times in order to plan our coaching session and unanimously decided to coach basketball. This is because we wanted to make the session fun for the children and teach them some simple kills at the same time. When planning the session we had to take many issues into consideration. We had to consider the amount of space that was available to us in the sports hall, we needed to use this space effectively to ensure safety and enjoyment throughout. We also had to consider the equipment we required as we did not feel that young children at the age of nine would have the ability to handle a large basketball.
We were able to acquire smaller sized basketballs from a member of our sports science class which meant the children would be able to handle the ball well an keep it under control, therefore giving them confidence. We also felt that children would be unable to shoot into normal sized basketball nets and therefore had to organise the smaller sized. The main skills we wanted to focus on was ball handling, dribbling, shooting and passing and catching the ball. We decided not to go into great detail on each of these skills as the children may struggle to grasp the main teaching points.
As we were only coaching a small number of children we felt that by working closely with three children each, there would be more one-to-one coaching and we could each concentrate on each child beginning to develop each skill. When designing the coaching session we had to be very aware of safety aspects and ensure that the children were safe at all times. Safety is he most important factor involved when coaching the children and it is the coaches responsibility throughout the session and we discussed safety risks and recognised what problems may occur and how to overcome these problems.
As a safety factor in our session we decided to have a ‘hotpot’ where the children were to go if we needed to get them together due to a safety reason, or just to change an activity. As we were the middle group during the session we decided, as we only had 25 minutes in which to teach the children basics of basketball, we would complete just a brief warm up and cool down. Also, as there was a group before us, they would have completed an in-depth warm up so the children would not pull any muscles anyway.
If we had taken a long warm-up the children may not have enjoyed the session as much and may have got bored When it was time for our session we decided to introduce ourselves to the children and try to make them feel welcome and calm their nerves. We explained to the children our objectives of the session and tried to use simple clear language so that they would understand. We also explained to the children that we wanted the session to be safe and that they had to concentrate and listen to everything we said in order to have a fun session.
We explained to the children the hotspot and originally we were going to use a whistle to emphasise it but changed our mind as it may have been to military for the children. When giving instructions to the children we tried to be as enthusiastic as possible in order to encourage enjoyment and make the children realise that we wanted to be there too. We decided as a warm-up we would concentrate on the children getting used to having a ball in their hands and advance from there.
We asked the children questions to give us some idea of their knowledge of basketball. We started the warm up by giving each child a basketball, then gave a verbal and visual explanation of the task in hand. To begin we showed the children how to roll the ball around their body, this gave them an idea of ball handling and we walked around giving praise and encouragement and helping the children who were struggling. From this exercise it was clear early on that some of the children were more competent in basketball than others.