Sport for children is primarily about enjoyment, so it is vitally important that the coach or teacher presents it in a way which is non-threatening, engaging and with a happy manner.
You cannot underestimate the importance of the coach’s demeanour with the group.
We all experience days with varying degrees of difficulty; that’s life. We need however to be mindful when we are working with our swimmers, that regardless of the sort of day we have had we have to present with a happy face and have a disposition that others feel comfortable with.
If we aren’t fun and enjoyable to be around it is unlikely our swimmers will respond in a positive way and become really engaged with their swimming session and be a person who children want to be around.
A good strategy is to adopt the routine of self checking. We do this by simply taking a moment to ask ourselves:
- What mood state am I in?
- Am I smiling?
- How am I expressing myself? What is my body language like and what is the tone of voice I am using.
- What do I need to modify to ensure a positive experience for all?
In essence, be like the coach who you would like to be the coach of your own children.