When you coach any type of youth sports team, practices are good opportunities to work on drills that will lead to success during games. In order for a practice to be effective, your players need to carefully listen to the instructions that you and your fellow coaches give. While many of your players may be good listeners, the reality is that some of them may struggle. For example, those who have short attention spans might daydream or look around the field or gymnasium while you talk. The result can be difficulties during the drills, which doesn't help your team to make the most of its practice sessions. As a coach, here are some tips that you can employ for emphasizing the value of listening.

Ask Players To Repeat Your Instructions

It's common to give instructions to your players, and then blow a whistle or clap your hands to signify that it's time for them to begin the drill that you just described. Good listening is central to your squad jumping into action on cue. One tactic to employ is to ask a player to repeat your instructions. For example, you might outline a drill, and then notice one player who doesn't appear to be listening. You could, say, "Steven, will you repeat the three instructions that I just outlined?" If the player cannot, you don't need to make a scene. Instead, quickly go over the instructions again; you can expect that the player in question will make a point of listening from now on.

Stop Talking At Times

If you're explaining a drill and you notice that one or more players are starting to whisper among themselves, a simple technique is to stop talking. In doing so, the players who are conversing will likely look over to you — and quickly realize that you've stopped because of them. When silence follows, you can resume your instructions. This can be an effective way to ensure that everyone is listening to you without verbally centering anyone out.

Explain The Value Of Listening

It never hurts to specifically talk to your players about the value of listening. Explain what happens when players don't listen. For example, a player might fail to perform a drill properly, which can cause delays in the practice and potentially even lead to conflicts among the players. Remind the players that when they talk to you, you listen so that you can understand them, and emphasize that you want the same courtesy from them. Search online for more youth sports coaching tips.