This is the first of an occasional series of tips from Michael Karlin and Robin Corbett.
Remember, even a small adult looks like a giant to a 5-, 6- or 7-year-old. You tower over them and it's intimidating when a large adult tells the player to run at, dribble past or shoot past the coach or if the coach or a parent is simply standing in the goal or, worst of all, if the coach challenges a player for the ball or plays keep away. The kids get frustrated and anxious.
So, please, stay out of the way. Let the players play. If you have to demonstrate something with a child, try to get help from an older sibling or be at least be aware of the size disparity and adjust for it as you show the players what to do.
Bonus tip: When talking to young players, get down on one knee. Engage them at their height.
Future tips will cover Standing and Moving, Talking to 5-Year-olds, Planning a Session and Sunshine and Sunglasses. Send us your best tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll publish the best them and award you a 100% increase in your coaching salary, just like the one we get every year!