Thursday, 6 August 2009

Coaching Children and the 5 C's

I have just come away from a conference where they have been talking about the way we coach children and how we should develop them as people and athletes. They suggested that we should be looking to develop the '5 C's' in kids whenever we coach them. So what are the 5 C's....?

  1. Competence - Every session and every exercise or game should be designed with the development of the player's abilities in mind. Our responsibility is to ensure that they leave every session, a little more able than before.

  2. Confidence - We should be aiming to get youngsters to develop their skills in a non threatening learning environment where they can build self reliance and their understanding of themselves. We should make sure that they are able to perform under pressure so that they feel comfortable in such surroundings.

  3. Compassion - The players should feel connected to their peers, their coaches and parents. Developing an understanding of their teammates needs and individual characteristics helps them to develop as people and as sports people.

  4. Character - Young peoples' personalities should be nurtured and developed through sport with the principles of fair play and equality reinforced. Equally children should be encouraged to explore and understand how their personal characteristics affect their their team mates and their own performance at sport.

  5. Creativity - We should strive to encourage children to develop their own solutions to problems and challenges they face in sport. By doing this they will develop a sense of ownership of their abilities. By creating exercises and games that challenge the players and encourage them to find their own ways of dealing with them we can often be surprised by the ways in which children can solve the problems.
The 5 C's should be used as a reference point for our coaching so that we can evaluate our effectiveness as coaches. By deveoping sessions and programmes which develop the 5 C's and then reviewing their effectiveness against this framework we can monitor our performance and improve the quality of our delivery.

Personally I will be using this as a mental checklist whenever I work with youngsters....I will probably do it with adults too for that matter!!

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