The main learning points from this session are:
- The risks of early specialisation in one sport during childhood are:
- that the enthusiasm and joy of sport can be lost
- that the chances of injury or a loss of sustained engagement are heightened.
- The benefits of sampling a diverse range of sports are more likely to lead to a positive experience of sport.
- Fun and friendship are the two main reasons children do sport and the coaching implications of this are that holistic personal development of a child’s character (respect for societal rules, integrity and empathy for others), connection (positive bonds with people in sport), compassion and confidence should inform each session, as demonstrated by tennis Coach Z.
- Asking children what they enjoy about sport can give a valuable insight into their motivations; a consistent research finding is that encouraging their sense of control over their sporting world is healthy for their long-term development.
In the next session, you will be considering how coaches try to guide those who are slightly older (i.e. teenagers). You’ll be examining the implications of physical changes, the impact of different rates of growth and some intriguing recent insights into the mysterious workings of the adolescent brain.
You can now go to Session 3.