The fall brings a fresh new start to new sport seasons. Children are getting ready for the return to school and the fall sports seasons. It is a fresh start for you as coach too- a clean score sheet! Here are some tips on how to get the most of your team this fall.
1. Work on fitness to get players back in shape after the holidays.
2. Get to know new team members and identify their strengths, skills and practice needs. They should know that you -as coach- are there to help. Just like a teacher/student relationship, offer them the opportunity for extra attention when they need it.
3. Ease players back in by recapping on standard plays and skills before moving forward. Do not start off exactly where you left off at the end of the season. They will be a little rusty and need to get comfortable in their positions.
4. Remember young athletes have short attention spans, so you need to mix up the practice routine. Do not allow too much sitting around or delay-where the players can loose focus and start distracting others.
5. Understand that you have different skill levels on every team. Do not focus all your attention to one skill level, alienating others on the team. Develop strong players and try to balance the weaker ones.
6. Stress / reward hard work. Even recognition for someone who went above and beyond with effort is a great gesture and will help to motivate.
7. Be realistic about your goals. If your team finished last in the previous season your goal should be to NOT finish last this season, not to win -this is too ambitious. Small consistent steps are the best way to make progress. Miracles do not happen, but hard work does pay off.
8. Always stay motivated!