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Jon Marson, Little Dribblers Coach, 1 Star

By Jon Marson, 10/03/18, 10:45PM PDT


Connect --> Build confidence --> Get them to contribute --> Celebrate!!! Simple but, it's going to take practice.

So, I have this awesome group of little basketball players. They've all shown up and they're here to play.  I want them all to have fun and learn something new or work on improving a skill.
Some are focused, listening and open to what I'm saying. Some are a little less focused are doing their own thing, just waiting for the next drill to start.
I can recognize that the second group is not going to get the most out of this and they're also not really helping the first group to stay engaged. But, what do I do about it?
I just got back from the Trail Blazers Youth Coaches Summit where about 75 coaches came together to invest 10 hours of their Saturdays to get better at enriching little kids lives. With the rest of the teaching team, we're probably close to 1,000 man-hours invested in getting better at coaching!
I came away with a super clear strategy to solve the disconnected kid problem!  You've got to connect with them - which can be as simple as knowing and saying their name or understanding a bit more about their name and background. Really this is like 10 seconds of time. But, it's focused and intentional.
Once you have a connection with this little kiddo then you need to help them to build up their confidence. When they do something right, stop them and let them know. Doing this in front of the team is a good idea.  Build up their confidence!
Now that you've connected and built up some confidence, it's time to give them something to do.  Find a series of drills that ANYONE can do and run everyone through them.  Try to make them collaborative so that everyone can do something to contribute. Then, when they do, go back to that confidence building.
At this point, you've connected, built up confidence and found a way to allow the kiddo to contribute to the group. Time to celebrate as a group.  Find small things to celebrate and allow them to participate in the celebration.
Connect --> Build confidence --> Get them to contribute --> Celebrate!!!
Simple but, it's going to take practice.
There was a warning too.  It may take a long time to build up that connection and confidence and contribution.  You can shred the whole thing in seconds if you come down hard on that kiddo.  Tread very very very light on negative feedback. Check your assumptions and your read of the situation. Err on the side of thinking that your kiddo is trying their best and work from that.
Well, there's a lot more but, I'll stop there. I hope this is helpful to you. This is something we've already started rolling out at home with my little group of 4 kids and a beautiful bride.  Same principles and similar goals. As leaders, it's up to us to create connections, build confidence, create opportunities for contribution and drive celebration! Git er' done.
I have a lot more notes from the event if you want them, just let me know.