I managed to score a coaching gig at one of the high schools in Melbourne for semester 2 and I’m pretty excited about it.
I will be one of the 2 coaches of the senior 2nds team for the school but it is quite a quick turnaround with introduction on Tuesday and training on the first day of the students second school on Wednesday where the assumption is that they’re all over the place in terms of motivation and concentration on top of the fact that I don’t know anything about it and vice versa, but that’s one of the many joys of coaching!
To make things even more difficult, the other coach can’t make it to the first few weeks of the season now and if we can’t find a replacement I might be alone for a while, but no problem.
So based on this latest development, I started writing down what Wednesday training might look like and this is what I come up with.
#1 – ICE BREAKER
Even though training is mandatory there will still be a huge range of why players are there, from wanting to play football, hanging out with friends to not wanting to be there at all, so I have to make the very first experience for all players positive.
I will start with a game that requires little instruction, is light but competitive and is sure to generate a lot of laughs and smiles before any actual coaching, hoping to achieve their engagement which is present throughout the session.
If you can win them over early, you’re more likely to keep them “in” in the long run.
#2 – WHAT DO I WANT TO DISCOVER?
The head of boys sports has already made a list of the 1st and 2nd teams based on last year, which I will get at the induction on Tuesday, but I have yet to figure out what I will be dealing with from week to week, and I will have to do that through the activities I use in my first training sessions.
Specifically, I want to see where each player is in their own decision-making and game intelligence and I’ll try to use a lot of game-based activities to do this.
Again they will need little instruction so we can get more action and less talking in our 60 minutes so for this I have a 1 handball and 1 kick specific activity designed for this, keeping everything “close” to pure focus on the immediate play around them.
I also have some larger area activities that I can use for the same purpose to see how players can read the game going on in front of them, rather than right in front of them like the previous activity link.
#3 – WHAT DO I EXPOSE THEM TO?
I’m going to make a huge assumption here by saying that I predict that most of my players will have been exposed to a lot of Kegel to Kegel exercises where a single problem can only be solved with a single solution and I want to take my players away from that kind of thinking and towards a more 1 problem-many-solutions thinking process, as they will encounter during games.
Usually during training all players face the 1 problem at the same time, but in a game your 3 players on the ground (backs/mids/fwds) all have different problems at the same time, so I need to design activities that reflect this.
I have some ground activities in mind in a wider area to address this, but at the same time I probably won’t be able to make full contact/full speed on the first night even if they’ve already done local footy.
So there are my main 3 points that I will focus on next week for session 1. I’m curious how the session will look like I want it too (probably not even close!) and know how this goes.