This month UCoach have invited Matt Fellingham to share his experience of teaching tots within a club programme.
Matt is Head Coach at Royston Tennis Club. He currently has 66 under 5′s in the core programme with a very long waiting list. He is fortunate to have a wife who is a nursery school teacher and his first piece of advice is to listen and to learn from those who have real experience of working with very young children. Whenever possible Matt employs nursery assistants to work within the clubs tots programme.
If your considering working with this age group, heres a few pointers from Matt’s wealth of experience:
What are tots like ?
* There is a big difference between a child who is just 3 and one who is nearly 5 so levels of ability may vary hugely. Its important to recognise the varying levels within your group.
* Being small they tire easily but cannot monitor their own need for a break or drink, so you have to.
* Egocentric; so initially unable to cooperate and share. They can take turns as long as it is not long before their turn and the number of turns is fair, so as a coach you need to makesure the drills allow for this.
*They learn through seeing and doing. They forget explanations and instruction so it must be through play that they learn – so let them play.
* They feel secure in activities that they know and enjoy repetition, but attention span is short so, rather than change an activity progress it.
* Reception skills are basic but will be helped by using large balls for throwing and catching. Make sure you have a range of differently sized pieces of equipment on hand and dont be afraid to use them.
* Coordination is developing and they should be able to coordinate arms and legs, balance on one leg and begin to hop and jump. Incorporate these types of skills in the drills further develops these skills and can help to keep things fun.
In next week’s post Matt will discuss what he feels Tots should learn.
Are you coaching tots right now? planning to in the future or have in the past and have something to comment. We would love to hear your views.
See you next week!