If you run sports performance classes or any other sports instruction class at your sports facility, you know that it’s common for the most talented athletes in the group to attract the attention of the other athletes, as well as the attention of the coaches or instructors.
Coaches point the start athletes out as examples to the others, and the rest of the kids may use them as a benchmark for their own skills and abilities.
That’s why it’s important for your staff to make a conscious effort to pay attention to those in the classes who might be struggling, or who just aren’t as talented, and make note of their improvements so that they come away with a positive experience after every class session.
At DNA Sports Center, we are the home to the Cincinnati area Parisi Speed School, which makes self-confidence for kids a high priority in all of its programming. One best practice for class management that we’ve learned by making self-confidence a priority is to physically note which players need a self-confidence boost on the class roster before the class starts so that instructors can make sure that they’re noticed and encouraged.
The encouragement doesn’t have to be anything complicated or grandiose, just a call-out in front of the other kids about how the weaker athletes have improved or how hard they’re working.
If athletes in your classes start to fear that they’re not good enough, they’re likely to stop coming to class; more importantly, they might start to lose interest in physical fitness, which can have lifelong ramifications for their health. This is particularly important for sports performance classes in which kids have enrolled specifically to try to improve overall health or improve general skills required to make a sports team.
In general, kids should always feel in their element in classes. You can decrease the odds that an athlete will feel out of place by segmenting your classes by both age and experience level, but even in these cases, extra effort often should be made to make sure that everyone feels comfortable, noticed and encouraged.
If you have any questions about how you can make scheduling at your facility more efficient, I’d be happy to set up a consultation session with you. Give me a call at (513) 791-4940.