Coaching young athletes 6-10 years old

According to the long-term sports development, children aged 6 to 10 years are in the initial phase of sports activity. The mode of training children at this stage has a decisive influence on their decision whether and at what level will remain in the sport. It is therefore important that training is created in a positive and supportive environment in which children through play and without too much formalized and external control will be able to try out a number of other sports.

Such a less formal multilateral training that does not focus only on one "main" sport, has a positive impact on the development of all physical, motor and functional abilities. The goal of multiple training that should be dominant in the initial stage of sports is to teach children basic skills that can be transferred to any sport later on. Training in the initial phase, ie. Training for children aged 6 to 10 years must be safe and diverse, and it plays the basic method of learning. The duty of coaches working with children in this age and sport phase is to emphasize the importance of psycho-social and moral development and maturation of athletes in parallel with comprehensive sports development - to encourage the development of self-esteem, self-confidence, conscientiousness, responsibility, co-operation, self-control skills, decision making and communication.

In order to ensure that the training programs in the initial stage of sporting activities are in line with children's needs, interests and motives, while at the same time focusing on the overall sport and psychological development, we give you some guidelines:

▶Emphasize multifaceted development by introducing children to specific exercises that teach them basic skills. Versatile skills should include running, sprinting, jumping, throwing, balance and swimming.

▶Ensure that every child has enough time to develop skillfully and equally time for the game and activities.

▶Positively encourage children who are self-disciplined and dedicated to the sport. Encourage advancements in skills development.

▶Encourage children to develop flexibility, coordination and balance.

▶Encourage children to develop different motor skills in low-intensity activities. For example, swimming is excellent for the development of the cardio-respiratory system, and simultaneously minimizes stress on the joints, ligaments and connective tissue.

▶Choose the appropriate repetition number for each skill and encourage children to perform the technique correctly.

▶Modify the equipment and the game environment to the appropriate level. For example, children do not have enough strength to get up and shoot vertically, and at the same time use the correct technique. The ball should be smaller and lighter, and they should be supported by floats.

▶Design exercises, games and activities so that children have the maximum active engagement.

▶Promote learning through experience by providing children with the opportunity to devise their own exercises, games and activities. Encourage them to be creative and use their imagination.

▶Simplify the rules so that children can understand the game. If children can not understand the rules of the game, they may not be able to develop self-control, which will probably have a negative impact on their confidence and their desire to continue to engage in sports.

▶Teach children games that introduce them into the basics of tactics and strategy. For example, if children have developed basic individual skills, such as swimming, dribbling a ball, and shooting, it will probably be ready for a successful game of modified water polo. During a game you can introduce young athletes into situations that show the importance of community in team and position in the game.

▶Encourage children to participate in exercises that develop concentration and attention. This will help them prepare for the larger requirements of training and competitions that will come when they arrive at the next stage of development - in the stage of sports design.