Under the Influence

Rodney Wilson Headshot (Small)Rodney Wilson is a conditioning coach at Conquer Training (Kingston, ON) and former Head Strength Coach at Queen’s University, with years of experience developing complete athletes. In his free time Rodney trains for ultra marathons and drives his daughters to every activity under the sun.

Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone, something, or the effect itself.

Heavy word right there.

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10 Tips for Communicating with Young Athletes

Mike Klinzing (Small).jpgMike Klinzing is Founder and Executive Director of Head Start Basketball (Cleveland, OH). Offering youth basketball camps and skills training for over 20 years, Head Start Basketball uses the game to improve character, develop leadership, and promote sportsmanship.

Being able to communicate with kids is a skill that all parents and coaches can always improve. Over my years of coaching and teaching, here are some quick tips I’ve learned to help you communicate better with your kids, athletes, or both (for us parent-coaches)!

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Game: Ameoba Tag

Going to the gym is the first step to getting better as an athlete. We all hear stories about how great athletes spend hours on hours in the gym working on their craft. But this discipline isn’t always easy for young kids to gasp – which is why coaches need to ensure kids look forward to the next day of practice.

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Game: Ball Tag

We always love modified games. Modified games help to shape or adjust play to incorporate and develop a specific skill. All the while maintaining the fun of a game, instead of feeling like a drill designed just to get in lots of reps.

Ball Tag is a textbook example of a successful modified game.

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Drill: 3-on-1 Rapid Fire Passing

As the first true “team skill” players learn, developing passing is crucial at youth levels. Young teams will often struggle to dribble and drive effectively, making passing the best way to move the ball around the court early in development.

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