How engaged are your athletes during team meetings? You’ll be able to get a good idea of this by watching for wandering eyes. If you feel that you are losing the interest of your squad during team meetings it’s time to improve how you lead these interactions.
Keeping the attention of a group of kids is certainly not an easy task, especially as the slightest things shift their attention elsewhere.
Key points to keep the attention of your youth athletes and how to lead a team meeting:
- If you want to be successful you must prepare. This is a message you reinforce with your athletes, and the same goes for coaches.
- Have a set agenda (1 page) to bring to your team meetings, or write it out on a whiteboard. This helps to create structure for your team meetings.
- Be mindful of time. Avoid time wasters during meeting time. Create an estimated time to talk on a subject, then move on to the next topic.
- Always start positive. Be motivational- start off with a Vince Lombardi quote, highlight a big football play from your previous practice, or compliment an athlete that is performing well in school. Starting positively creates the tone for the rest of your meeting.
- Lead with questions that are exact and to the point. Ask your youth football athletes questions like ‘how could you have done it better?’, ‘what have you learned from the play?’..
- Set Goals. Clearly define the objective of the meeting. Then talk about how you are going to get there (the steps to reach the objective). This is a key factor in having a successful meeting, you want your athletes to be able to state what their individual and team goals are.
- Ask for verbal commitment. Keep the communication going with your athletes by asking for a verbal commitment to reach goals.
- Have your coaching staff take turns leading – it breaks the monotony of one coach always leading and keeps everyone sharp.