Jeepers it can be hard helping individual players develop within a team sport. Balancing individual and whole team development can be a real grapple for community coaches, as there isn’t easy access to individual players, like in High Performance environments.
If your team has the traditional two trainings per week, then time to connect with and support individuals is limited. For a while now, we have pushed for coaches to get rid of queues and have high time on task at team practices. With that comes challenges around enhancing learning through 'on the spot' feedback and questioning.
So how can we help both individual players and the whole team improve, learn and develop outside of traditional practice windows?
Self-reflection Template: Getting players to reflect each week is great as they will identify strengths and areas for growth, while you as the coach can understand the players perspective - it’s a great conversation starter. Linking with video footage is even better. Google Forms, Docs is a good place to start.
Pre-practice Space: Build in a window (15-30 mins) into the practice plan where coaches and players are on the grass, court, or turf together. It is a chance for coaches to get around the squad and talk with individual players, plus a chance for players to work on certain skills / tactics.
Post-Practice Work-on Block: This is a space for individual players to work on key skills or tactics, or iron out any issues that were presented in practice. This is another chance for coaches to get around the squad for those interactions.
Squad Units: Divide the squad into units, where they have a direct link with certain coaches and / or leaders. This spreads the load for all.