I was talking with a coach today about the style and structure of sessions and kept coming back to a net session I tried this week that worked well despite my lack of planning.
I was with a small group of 12-15 year olds. They are club level kids and some of them are challenging to work with. It's my long term mission to engage them fully.
So, with that in mind, I went into their session without a plan other than to ask them "what do you want to work on".
This might have backfired spectacularly, but in reality they outperformed my expectations and took us through a session that was fun, engaging and nothing to do with what I thought it would be!
Here's how it went.
Me: "So, what do you think we need to work on to be better by summer?"
Kids: "er. how about teamwork?"
Me: "Wow. OK! So how do we work on that when we only have nets to work in?
Kids: "um... *pause* running between the wickets?"
Me: "sounds fun! How do we make it a game?"
They then proceeded, to come up with a game where you had to run when you hit the ball in certain areas.
I added a bonus incentive, saying that if they called and ran as if it were in a game (yes and no, walking not running) I would do 20 press ups. But only if they whole team did it the whole session.
They were motivated, working hard and trying to make it a realistic outcome based game. All from a couple of questions and some constraints from me, then letting them get on with it.
They didnt quite make me do the press ups, but they almost did. I bet they will try even harder next time!