Check out this post from the good folks at GameChanger with a Blueprint for day one of practice. Although the author is speaking specifically about baseball practice, there is good advice here for all sports.
- I really like the recommendation to have one-on-one time with each child. Get to know them as early as possible. I’ll add do whatever you can to learn their names as fast as possible.
- Whatever age the children are, setting expectations is important. What do you want them to call you (I recommend somewhere around 10 or 11 years old they switch from Coach Chad to Coach Millette), what are your hustle and attitude expectations, what are your team rules, etc.
- A note about the recommendation about where to put your lefties in baseball (the author states “if you have any left-handed throwers, first base would be a good place for them to start”. As a father of a lefty baseball player, I held off on limiting him to first base in the infield as long as I could. He even played catcher (that’s him below). Sure, as the lefty player progresses through their baseball career, they will likely be limited, but why limit them any earlier than you have to?
- And, I absolutely agree with the idea of a fun activity to end practice. Try to make the activity a skills competition. Emphasize that the way to win the competition is to do the skill correctly. You won’t even need a prize, just the fact of a competition will bring the best out of the young athletes.