How-to be a Bunnyrabbit Coach/Assistant
The coach’s role in the program is to lead, motivate, and allow athletes to reach their maximum potential. Are you new to this? Not to worry as almost all of our JR coaches start when their children enter the Club and we are here to help. The program is created in a format which allows coaches to work as a team to provide their group with the best experience. Each JR group will have a lead coach and an identified assistant coach, usually one of the parent’s interested in participating each week, who will be in charge of executing the lesson plans each week.
As the lead coach your key role includes:
- Teaching an effective series of skill development sessions to children in the FUNdamentals stage of athlete development;
- Providing a comfortable, safe, age-appropriate, ethical, encouraging, and enjoyable learning environment;
- Motivating children to learn more, ski more, and continue in the sport;
- Educating parents on the objectives and methodology of the program;
- Introducing children to the full-spectrum of cross-country skiing, encourage them to try every activity so they can pursue any opportunity in the sport.
Ref: (Coach Workbook, Sect. 1.2, p. 5)
For the duration of the 8 week program coaches will be using lesson plans for each practice, provided by the club, with an invitation for you to add your own flare to each session. An emphasis on fun activities to build skills according to the appropriate ski levels is the best way to keep focus during the session. The most important part of the program is building a love of skiing, having fun and developing friends that will support a positive self-image for children while being in the outdoors. Each lesson is structured the same way and there is plenty of time and space to modify the technique plans, games, and snack times to ensure a smoothly run practice.
Ref: (CC, Sect. 5.2)
Each week you are in charge of coaching your group, observing skill progression, setting up your ski playground, and adding to the activity/lesson plan provided. It is always useful to over program and have a few games up your sleeve to avoid long pauses between activities. When in doubt play a game or go exploring to give yourself time to think.
Along the lines of safety it is important that you have regular check-ins with every athlete and parent participating, it is easier for children to get cold so be mindful of that. After the first practice it will be clear which athlete isn’t appropriately dressed and it should be discussed with the parent’s before the next session. It can be difficult for parents who are new to the sport to not overdress (risk of sweating, getting wet, becoming cold) their children, or underdress (risk of being cold, frostbite).
Engaging children who may not want to be in the program can be one of the most difficult things to overcome as a coach, but there is always one activity that sparks motivation in any kid. Don’t be discouraged after the first session if something didn’t go as planned, children can be the most stubborn people, the way to overcome lack of engagement is over programming. Be prepared to switch the game as many times as it takes before having full participation, over programming is the key to always having something new to move onto when something doesn’t work. One might also consider making a game centered around learning technique or balance to avoid a typical “coach explaining something and then kids following along” situations. The more creative, hands on, and goofy you can be as a coach the more response you will get from the children.
Ref: (CC, Sect. 4.3)
There will be a coordinators on site for each Saturday and Sunday. If you have questions, need assistance or if there is an emergency, please alert the program coordinator!
The First Lesson:
We highly recommend arriving 30 minutes early on the first day. Coordinators will be there to assist you. We also have Chelsea Nordiq teens on site to support groups and provide leadership to new skiers. The most important part of this lesson is to get to know each other, feel out abilities and comfort for the level and have fun. If there are requests for changing levels, just notify the coordinator after consulting with parents.
We will have stakes with numbers on them to identify groups so you can meet just inside the trailhead.
Typically the lead coach brings snacks the first day and then sets up a parent roster. Please see be mindful of common allergies and check with your group of athletes for registered allergies.
We already have stuffed animals (great for BR and JR1 if you are playing a ’scramble’ or ‘hit the coach’ game), hoops, pylons, balls, cowbells, tubing for tunnels and plastic eggs (for hide and search games), banners (how low can you go) and a few other gear items. If you want something else for an activity, just shout.
5 key responsibilities as a community coach:
- Teach an effective series of skill development sessions to children in the FUNdamentals stage of athlete development;
- Provide a comfortable, safe, age-appropriate, ethical, encouraging, and enjoyable learning environment;
- Motivate children to learn more, ski more, and continue in the sport;
- Educate parents on the objectives and methodology of the program;
- Introduce children to the full-spectrum of cross-country skiing, encourage them to try every activity so they can pursue as they wish in the sport.
Ref: (Coach Workbook, Sect. 1.2, p. 5)
Setting up the ski playground
Completing a safety inspection
Coaching your group
Evaluating the activity/progress
Designing your plan for the season
Design an activity/lesson plan
Planning and preparing parent meetings (start, mid-way, end of season)
Ref: (ICC, Sect. 8.2) (CC, Sect. 8.4)
Ref: (ICC, Sect. 5.1)
Ref: (ICC, Sect. 5.2)
Ref: (ICC, Sect. 4.2)