“The girls are more interested in socialising than training. It’s hard to keep them focussed as they just want to gas bag with each other.” (Secondary School Girls Coach)
Sound familiar? Is it any wonder when the number one reason why youth play sport is to have fun with their friends! Kids and teenagers yearn for social connection. They want to fit in, to belong and be part of something bigger than themselves. And sport can be the place to tick those boxes. This is no different to the on-line gaming or social media phenomenon, which also provides (potentially to your dismay) a social outlet.
In fact you might have similar social tendencies if you think about it. You may have strong social connections with people at work and long for the morning smoko to have a cuppa and chat about all things non-work related. Or how about the ‘water cooler’ chats, Friday arvo drinkies or weekend Escape Rooms (yes - a real story of a company we are working with).
So there’s no point in fighting the social urge, but rather embrace it. How you factor in time for your players to catch up ‘socially,’ may provide that outlet and lead to greater focus when it is required. The coach quoted in this blog instigated ‘gas bagging’ time half-way through trainings. Or potentially you could factor in social time at the start and/or end? Whatever you decide, maybe it’s time to embrace the social need rather than fight it?
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