Teaching our players to communicate is one of the most difficult task we have as coaches. One idea that I have used to solve that issue is to organize a “Silent Sideline.” For a couple of games consider requiring all parents to resist the temptation to say ANYTHING from the sideline. As a coach you can restrict your communication to the very basic organizational stuff. Under these conditions the players not only find themselves being able to hear the coaches instructions easily but are able to communicate with one another. you might also see players solving more problems for themselves and showing more creativity.
Your parents will find this very difficult to begin with. However, really encourage them to buy into “Silent Sideline Day” by explaining that the experience of watching and hearing the players as they develop their new communication skills might be more enjoyable than drowning them out with their own enthusiasm! I am sure you will learn something about the players the parents and your own coaching from this exercise.
If you find some success with it you should experiment in your practice sessions with “communication restrictions.” Maybe limit the words they can use to just “yes” and “no”, or just names, or maybe limit the specific players on the team who can talk at all. Have fun with it!
I would be really grateful to anyone who can share their experiences of “Silent Sideline Day” and any other strategies you might have to develop communication. Send me a message in the form below: