Here at Fit For Kids Co. we are focussed solely on coaching kids from the ages of 3.5 - 10yrs of age predominately. This means we get to see a whole lot of young players across our various sports of tennis, golf, cricket, basketball, netball & soccer. There are certainly now, some things that we have picked up over the years from teaching this age group that all parents and coaches should be aware of. Here are just a few:
1. Cones, Markets or lined out areas. When students are first starting out, they can find the dimensions and areas of the court or grounds confusing and hard to nivigate. Whilst as a coach or p[layer we see the areas as a given and know where we should be, for young children this is not the case. The use therefore of cones or markers is crucial not only for the safety aspect of teaching, but also for showing the students where they need to be as they begin to form the idea in their heads.
2. Repeat Repeat Repeat. Repitition is another super important part of the learning process for young children. When they are first learning any sport, they will be recieving a lot of information and there will also be a great deal of proccessing of their surroundings, parents, friends and the general environment. This is why its really important to keep driving home the key points you are trying to get them to learn. Ask them to repeat instructions back to you and be sure to ask them questions at the conclusion of the class. This will help to reinforce the key points and ensure they wll remember them in a weeks time when they are back again for that next lesson.
3. Keep it to a 3 step process. With our students here at Fit For Kids Co. we have consistently found that breaking any stroke, shot or move into a simple 3 step process is the best way to teach a beginner. By breaking it down into 3 easy steps, the student is able to easily digest the information and remember it when needed. This also alliviates the need to 'over complicate' the teaching and forces the coaches to condense the most important parts into the 3 given steps.
4. Use relatable examples. When constructing a given 3 step process, its really important to make the steps fun and relatable. By creating funny and interesting examples the children will enjoy learning the steps and be keen to try them themselves. For example, when we teach a side on stroke for tennis, we teach the students to 'stand like a surfer'. This gets them to understand the knee bend, balance and is also reaully easy remember!
5. Fun. If its not, why will they want to do it. These days there are so many activities for children to engage with, from sport to video games & even virtual reality. It's therefore more important now more than ever that we make sport and fitness fun! Find ways to make a game out of almost any activity or drill. Add scoring in for more competative students and finally prizes always seem to make things a little more fun too! Use your imagination to find new fun ways to play old games.
So here are just a few things that we here at Fit For Kids Co think are important in order to make your teaching of a new student fun & engaging. We hope you can implemement these with your kids or students & heres to having more fun out there!
Fit For Kids Co. Team