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Craig Blain
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Children Organising and Planning

Behaviour Bitesize Blog: 2.3 Empowering

This series explores each of the identified coaching behaviours alongside the Principles of Great Coaching. In this blog, Craig Blain discusses creating an empowering coaching environment for children and using feedback to ensure motivation

To the untrained eye, coaching children can at times look like organised chaos. With other 15 years' experience in coaching development, and only 5 years' experience as a parent, I am not quite sure where my expertise truly lies, but there is always a risk of my parent brain overruling my coaching brain.

This is a challenge that children’s coaches face regularly when interacting with the parents of the children they coach.

No matter how engaging sessions may be for the children you coach, it’s essential to also get them hooked in. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that they won’t come back, let alone get involved.

I take my 3-year-old son to a rugby-themed activity class every weekend. Aside from a few moans about repetition or lack of creativity, that mainly come from my coaching brain, I attend and observe quietly as for 40 minutes my son is encouraged to focus on a series of challenges, games and activities. 

Each week I battle with my own thoughts. ‘Is this good enough?’ ‘Is he getting what he needs from the sessions?’ But the fact of the matter is, often overruled by my parenting brain, I take him home each week and choose not to act or speak to the coach. Giving due respect that they have a plan in place. Regardless of my thoughts, the cold hard facts are: ‘Rugby Tots is Great!’ At least, that’s the testimony of a 3-year-old at the end of every session. 

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Craig Blain