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Keep it REAL

Have you ever heard a coach say, “I’ve decided to coach this year, because I want kids to hate sport and quit at the end of the season. Sport sucks and I’d rather them stay home on the i-pad or PlayStation!” Let’s hope not!

Coaches almost always say the exact opposite. They talk about making it fun and keeping the kids coming back next year. But let’s face it - when you've got a bunch of little ones running around, it can feel like trying to herd cats! So, how do we keep them interested? By keeping it REAL - Realistic, Enjoyable, Active, and Learning.

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REALISTIC: Don't expect your kids to play like pros just yet. Sport can be complex and requires a lot of practice and patience. Good things take time. Give them realistic goals that they can achieve. And replicate the reality, by setting up practices to look and feel like your sport!

FUN: If you and your kids aren’t having fun, then what’s the point? Practice should be the highlight of our day! Incorporate games and activities that allow your players to express themselves and have a good time. Laughter and smiles are key to keeping those players coming back for more.

ACTIVE: We've all seen those practices where the players get a good sweat up during warm-up, only to stand still for the rest of the practice. Get rid of the queues and get those legs moving! If your players need to put their jackets or jumpers back on, it's a sure sign that they need to get moving again!

LEARNING: We all want to see our kids progress – both collectively and individually. Break down those tough skills into easy-to-digest parts, provide feedback, and create opportunities for players to learn from their mistakes. And maybe, just maybe reflect on your own coaching approach and make tweaks.

So let’s keep it REAL. And make sure to have a laugh or two along the way!


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