Lego and sports clubs have become sterile environments
Lego sets used to stimulate children’s (and their parent’s) imaginations. In the 1970s the goal of Lego was to use imagination and explore as you can see in the letter on the right.
Now, Lego blocks are almost always sold as part of some marketing tie- in with very prescriptive step-by-step instructions.
Does that sound like any sports coaching you know? If your child is forced to stand in a queue and listen to an adult tell them exactly how to move around cones then how will they adapt to the changing environment of sport?
Coaches need to be able to set up environments that allow the children to connect the dots rather than just collect dots (coaches read more here).
My goal when coaching our young athletes is to set up tasks or environments that allow children to develop and learn themselves. This “guided discovery” means I ask them questions, or set them challenges, rather then prescribe specific actions (there are some exceptions).
This has probably been the biggest change in my coaching in the last 3 years, and something I emphasise regularly on the strength and conditioning courses we deliver.
An example is shown on the right where I asked the kids to try and move over their partners in different ways. I am constantly surprised and delighted with how kids respond to this at all different ages.
Are your kids allowed to be creative, or are they just being told what to do?
If you would like to come to our athletic development club sessions, we are based in Willand and Wellington.