When it comes to keeping kids interested in any sport, practices are a fantastic starting point because it’s often their first point of contact. To make sure that your players stay engaged and involved throughout practice, it’s important to incorporate some fun activities and drills into each session. Here are some tips for creating an exciting and engaging atmosphere during flag football practice and to keep them engaged in the sport as a whole:
Set Goals – Establish realistic goals with your players and encourage them to strive towards these objectives. Having achievable goals in mind will help keep them motivated and focused on honing their skills.
Focus on Fun – Your practices should be enjoyable for all participants, so make sure you include fun activities that can break up the more serious drills. This could range from relays and races to flag football tournaments or mini-games.
Involve Parents – Get parents involved in the practices and create a family-friendly environment. Incorporate activities that adults can take part in, as well as the kids, and make sure everyone has a good time.
Take Breaks – Give players regular breaks throughout practice to ensure they stay energized and refreshed, especially for those at a younger age as this will help them stay engaged and attentive. Attention spans in children are short, so you’ll need to allow them time to switch off every so often because bringing them back again.
Encourage Communication – Make sure to encourage communication between teammates, as this will help build relationships among them and give them the confidence to work together on the field.
Reward Players – Positive reinforcement is key when it comes to keeping kids engaged in any activity. Offer rewards for extra effort or for achieving goals, such as certificates or medals, as this will give them the encouragement and motivation to keep striving for success.
Use Simple Plays – Especially with flag football and the like, it’s easy to get caught up in endless complex drills and plays. Instead, focus on easy-to-understand concepts with straightforward instructions that kids can apply to their gameplay more easily. With 8 simple flag football plays for 7-on-7, for example, you’ll hold their attention and they can actually learn rather than feeling overwhelmed.
Give Them Free Time and Power – For ten minutes each practice session, allow the kids the opportunity to come up with their own drills and ideas. This will give them a sense of control and ownership, which is critical for keeping them engaged. Plus, it’s an effective way to practice play-calling and strategy as well.
Don’t Push Too Hard – Remember, the main objective of the practice is to have fun and build skills. Don’t push too hard with lengthy drills that take up the majority of the session or your players will be left feeling exhausted and unmotivated. As soon as practice feels like a chore, they will want to stop coming (and who can blame them?).
By following these tips, you can make sure that your flag football practice sessions are fun, engaging and successful – and keep kids interested in the sport! With a bit of creativity and effort, even the most mundane practices can become exciting and rewarding experiences for all involved.