Is patience over-rated?

I do quite a bit* of coaching with younger children, 7 and younger, right down to weekly groups with 3-4 year olds. Sessions can be messy, they can be loud, sometimes they must look pretty chaotic.

In truth, I really do quite enjoy the chaos (sometimes). I’ll let activities run on, if the players are engaging in some sort of “constructive” play.

Probably the most frequent feedback I receive, from parents and fellow coaches, regards “patience” — how I must have incredible depths of patience to work with the young groups, how much the children enjoy the freedom they get to play and learn.

And I also get the counter-statement — “it’s OK to be firmer with the kids, if they misbehave” (i.e. “you really are too patient, sometimes”).

I am coming to the conclusion that patience by itself might not be the virtue that it is held up as.

Continue reading Is patience over-rated?

Make the sport fit the child, not the child fit the sport — thoughts on iCoachKids

Really interesting video from the iCoachKids project, on “making the sport fit the child, not the child fit the sport”

Some of the concepts discussed might appear obvious, but I thought it was very helpful to see how the video (and the associated activities on the MOOC) provides a framework to think about why and how to adapt and differentiate activities in children’s sport.

Continue reading Make the sport fit the child, not the child fit the sport — thoughts on iCoachKids

What is fun, anyway?

I think there is growing agreement that sports coaching for children needs to be “fun” if coaches are to engage and retain players in their programmes.

Fun has been identified as a key component driving engagement in kids sport in numerous studies (see Bailey et al., cited in the iCK MOOC Developing Effective Environments for Children in Sport).

The word “fun” appears in 46 posts on this blog — that is nearly 25% of posts published since I started The Teesra in 2009.

But what actually is “fun”?

And is it always a good thing?

Continue reading What is fun, anyway?