Formula helps coaches reach kids

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We all love to hear compliments from others. It typically inspires and motivates us to elevate ourselves with the tasks at hand.

Recently, a parent friend of mine named Scott volunteered to coach youth sports. Scott was asking my advice for a method to get kids to listen and be encouraged to learn the skills he was teaching.

Each year, there are a lot of new parent volunteer coaches and maybe this article might be of help. Also, parents just know I use this same technique on my own kids to get them to complete chores and other responsibilities.

The formula I’ve put together is as follows: compliment — explain problem or skill needed — solution — encouragement.

Let’s take youth soccer for our example. Little Bobby keeps kicking the ball with the front tip of his cleats, which is very common among beginners. I’ve been trying to teach him, but he’s not correcting the mistake.

I start off telling Bobby how impressed I am with his speed and how he is one of the fastest players on the team. But, if you would start kicking the ball on the proper placement of your cleats, then I could move you into a position to score points.

As long as you keep kicking with the front part of cleats, I’ll have to keep you in a defensive position. Bobby, you’re an amazing player and we are lucky to have you on our team. I know you can do this. Now, give me a high-five and show me what you’ve got.

I guarantee Bobby feels great about himself and starts doing his best to kick properly.

For all you youth soccer coaches, here’s a little trick that helps kids to kick properly.

I would put white medicine tape on the contact areas of cleats, so when they get dirty, the kids know the kicks were correct.

Now, when it comes to disciplining our kids, I’m sure most of us learned old-school methods from our parents, if you know what I mean. But, try my formula. It has worked very well for me to which my kids have learned to stay responsible.

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