SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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September 2018 12 t ONE- on- ONE school in a structured environment and need a little time to let go. And girls are just wired differently. They need to catch up with their friends. Let them chat," Foley said. "They are just starting to be social beings and if you give them 10 minutes to warm up, you'll get their attention when it's time to practice." But socializing is just one aspect. Foley says that it is important to break up natural groups to encourage growth by arranging girls by hair color, months of birth or in other ways to create bonds between girls who might otherwise gravitate to the safety of friends. And planning for practice goes a long way in making the time more enjoyable and positive. Celebrate achievements in simple ways or add fun elements such as a team countdown to clean up 50 volleyballs in a gym while the coach tries to steal the balls. Play music, recognize the player of the practice or celebrate after practices with treats provided by parents. Foley said the important thing to remember is to have fun. While keeping the activity fun, encouraging growth and improvement is also key to keeping an athlete interested in sports. "It's the coach's job to encourage development by praising hard work and effort and listening to the concerns of the player," Foley said. "It's about self-esteem and feeling important." In her own coaching at Boston College, Foley said she tries to create a team culture that helps bond individuals with others on the team. "When we sit down for a team dinner, the six spots at each table need to be filled by a fresh- man, sophomore, junior and senior, and the two last spots are for any year. No one is excluded." And in post-game meetings, praise the players who worked hard to move the ball during the game rather than the player who scored the winning goal. "The focus becomes more about the effort than the outcome," she said. From "how to be a good teammate" to pre-season planning, every chapter includes a bulleted summary and a word of advice from a sports authority figure based on their experiences. It also includes a section on parental coaching, which Wenjen and Foley hope will be useful to parents who have been asked to assist with their child's team. Other topics – such as choosing team captains, managing losing streaks, supporting multi-sport athletes, and pre- and post-game snacks – are also covered. For more information, visit The website includes Free Stuff for Coaches, a collection of downloadable forms for pre-season logistics, available for those who subscribe to the mailing list. n

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