Push to make coaching more fun, less structured

And a 2019 study by the World Health Organization placed Australian teenagers 140th out of 146th when it comes to activity levels. The data also shows a correlation between the activity levels of children and their parents, which should have implications for future generations.

A drop in game-based activities – cricket in the yard, playing football in the park – means frontline coaches at community sports clubs are trying to apply more skills to juniors less equipped to follow the type of instruction formalized that is included in many of today’s coaching certification courses.

Children need to spend more time learning to love the game, rather than perfecting their technique, Sport Australia said. Credit:Angela Wylie

As things stand, coaches must follow rigid modules and certification courses, which often introduce complex patterns or techniques and address issues such as strength and conditioning. Sport Australia argues these questions are of limited use to an U8 coach trying to foster a simple love of sport.

Part of the new push will be a series of online courses aimed at reshaping the landscape of accreditation across a wide variety of sports, focusing more on helping coaches try to better understand motivations and ambitions. of their participants rather than just getting started. through various exercises and modules.

Water Polo Australia was one of the first to adapt. Its chief executive, Richard McInnes, said they have now moved away from the antiquated coach accreditation process as they get a much clearer picture of what they expect from their participants and those who pitch in. ‘coach.

“One of our biggest priorities is to support and strengthen our coaching staff. To achieve this, we removed outdated accreditation processes, removed the cost barrier of learning, and made our content accessible to all coaches,” said McInnes.

“Evaluating coaches is no longer about passing a test, but about their ability to create positive and engaging environments for their players, which ultimately drives retention and growth and ensures our sport thrives. .”

Chappell said cricket was just one sport that struggled with retention issues as players progressed through their teenage years. A new approach, he argues, will do more to either stay in the game or come back as fans, volunteers or parents.

“The possibilities are so exciting. Every sport suffers from losing many children in adolescence. I really think if we change the way we approach learning the game early and give kids a memorable experience early on, that’s when they could stay in the game longer.

“And, in many ways, that’s not even the point… if they have a good experience, they’re more likely to be a supporter or a parent encouraging their kids to try.

“Make sure it’s as fun as possible. If there’s not a lot of noise and laughter around the place, they’re not having fun.

The first course will be available via the Sport Australia website in the coming weeks as the body continues to work with individual sports to better tailor programs to coaches of all experience levels.

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