Archive for “Motion Activities” Tag

Coaching a Large Group of Young Athletes in a Small Space

Young Athletes Programming in a Small Space

young athletes
By Dave Gleason
At Athletic Revolution South Shore we have 2500 sq feet in total.

Our usable space is approximately 1600 sq feet with an open

turf area of only 1300 sq ft. We max out our session at 16-18

athletes per session. As the kids get older and can cover more

ground quicker – it is imperative to prepare our programming

with this in mind.

 

Here are a few strategies that have worked extremely well for us as we program for our young athletes 6-18 years old.

Staff – As skilled coaches we can certainly run large groups very

effectively. However, beyond merely executing a great session

we need to remind ourselves of the immense gravity of connecting

with our athletes. Once more it becomes increasingly more difficult

to observe all of your athletes to make recommendations, set

cues, regress or progress the movement. We have a minimum

of 2 staff on the floor at all times.
Cascading – We will have the athletes form 2-4 lines (especially

the Exploration because we try to avoid lines for our Discovery

classes) to perform the activity. When they reach the far end

of the turf they turn to the left and continue back to the start.

This can work very well for ambulating active range of motion

and general preparatory exercise.
Rows – For movements such as accelerations, skip loops and

bear crawls we form two rows, one behind the other. When

the first row reaches half way, the next row begins.
Circle up – Our Exploration classes are now accustomed to

engaging in MFR and active range of motion activities as our

classes begin. With a class of 16 kids they will form one large,

or small circles. Discovery athletes always enjoy circles…they

know it means something fun is coming!
Spread em’ out – Another very effective way to observe your
young athletes is to have them spread out so you can view each and

every one of them during the activity. We use spot markers

(agility discs) for our Discovery classes to add some continuity

to where they are. Be cognizant of the child trying to hide

behind another athlete or in the corner.

Split the room –
Lay out cones down the center of the turf area.

Half the athletes at one end of the turf and half at the other.

You can instruct them to stop at the center line, turn around at

the center line and return to the start, or even pass each in the

middle during some activity (great for spatial awareness and

kinesthetic differentiation).

 

As you create your programs, contemplate how the activities and

movements you have chosen fit into these mechanisms of

organizing your young athletes. It will provide the context for fantastic

classes and remarkable results!