Sports coaching can be a challenging job and many find it difficult to get the best from their athletes. The sports coach’s job is to help an athlete or team improve and become the best they can be. This requires encouragement, motivation, a good understanding of the sport, but most importantly an ability to communicate with a person or group of people. Communication is essential in the development of an athlete or team and must be at the centre of a sports coach’s training plan. A sports coach may have all the knowledge and experience possible, but if this cannot be transferred and communicated to an athlete or team it becomes a waste of time. Developing trust will allow the sports coach to put across their opinions and guide the team to a common goal.
As a sports coach the aim is to bond with an athlete or team, gain they’re trust, encourage improvement and communicate knowledge and experience of the sport. This can be a difficult task depending on the individual or group being coached. An effective way to combine all of these areas of coaching is to add a few ice breaker games into coaching at an early stage. Here are some effective ice breaker games for sports coaches for various sports:
Piggy in the Middle
This is an effective ice breaker game that can be applied to all sports and improves group interaction and helps individuals connect to the team. Whether the sport is football, basketball, rugby, cricket, baseball, American football, tennis or even swimming, piggy in the middle can work in any situation. Get the group to spread out into a circle and nominate one of the group to enter the middle of the circle. Throw one of the group standing in the circle a ball or item that can be thrown safely between the group. The idea of the game is to keep the ball away from the person in the middle of the circle. If the person manages to get hold of the ball the person who threw the ball into their path then replaces them, and the game continues. This is a great team building exercise and a fantastic ice breaker game for new groups.
This simple but energetic ice breaker game works really well for groups and teams training together. This game requires a fairly large open space and a ball or item to pass between teams. Separate the group into two teams. One team tries to keep hold of the ball or item while the other try to tag them with by a light touch. This ice breaker game is extremely flexible and can be tailored to any sport, including football, basketball, rugby or any other team sport. This ice breaker game gets everybody in the group working together and improves the athletes agility, speed and coordination. The competitive nature of this ice breaker game means that sports coaches can assess athletes performances and provide individuals with advice and guidance.