Now we are faced with yet another #Lockdown, the solutions to how we support children’s Physical & Mental wellbeing is critical. We have all been here before, as children’s frustrations and anxieties will now be more evident and heightened.
Private Tutoring (1-1) in Sport has historically been a necessity for children that have a passion, interest, and commitment in individual disciplines i.e., Golf, Tennis, Swimming etc. The professionalisation of tutoring over the years has proven to be an essential model; and investment for children to learn fundamental techniques. At times, these options prove costly and inaccessible for some, particularly low-income families. Traditionally the former of the two examples above have been to allow children the opportunity to ‘be the best they can be’, an opportunity to offer advanced tuition for a learner to be competitive and play at the highest level. The most common area of personal tuition which is more of a necessity would naturally be swimming - where opportunities and affordability with this essential life skill continues to improve.
There are a number of parents that seek supplementary 1 -1 tuition in ‘team sports’ to help introduce their child to a chosen activity, help ignite a broader interest in sports & activity, maybe a child has low self-confidence, or wants to be competent enough to try out for a team.
Sadly, there are a small minority of parents that hope Private Coaching will bring a pathway for a child into a professional academy, and to give their child an advantage over their peers on their journey to become an accomplished Elite professional athlete – possibly putting their parents into early retirement. One sad but amusing example was during my 1st year at Chelsea FC supporting Pre- Academy programmes, when a parent contacted me to ask this very question. After a brief introduction, where this poor boy’s father informed me that his son ‘played behind the front two’, and he saw him as a No 10 at a top of a ‘diamond’ – Zola like. I sadly had to decline my support and I tactfully reminded the parent of what was more important. My decision was led by what appeared unhealthy parent pressure & expectation - but reinforced when I asked for his age. “7 years old!”
I have had the pleasure of coaching children & learners privately in the United States, Greece, Italy and whilst working at Professional Clubs across London. Even now with our independent programmes in Surrey, these parents occasionally still pop up. Most parents genuinely want what is best for their child, particularly now during these challenging & damaging times…
Benefits of 1 – 1:
1 -1 tutoring gives the coach the opportunity to understand the child’s personality, learning styles, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Getting to know “the whole child” allows the coach to structure the plan
There is a different intensity to 1-1 environments. More activity crammed in, advanced anaerobic activity delivered in a fun way using balls or equipment.
The learner can develop speed and strength more rapidly. Understand pulse rate, and how this changes through intense activity and cool down.
This arguably is the fundamental benefit during these current times.
Children need to socialise and have a sense of belonging. 1 -1 activities with a coach or tutor enables children to connect and engage. The coach can share positive and inspirational experiences and offer a level of emotional support.
A good coach will pitch a session or activity at the appropriate level & intensity, offer incentives and set goals. This fun for any child or learner – irrespective of their age & stage.
Improve Self Confidence:
While working with a child/learner in a 1-1 setting, it allows the child to take certain risks while learning. Children learn a great deal from this risk taking. Children should be able to test their learning limits and take risks. It is during these times when children become more confident in themselves, as they are more confident taking risks without the feeling of failure in front of friends.
Mastery of Skills: ‘Practice does not make perfect…perfect practice makes perfect’
Teach children the correct way to practice skills repeatedly and consistently. Practice and training need to be purposeful. Repetitive practice promotes mastery, confidence, and a greater understanding of skills. Realistic practice is essential to helping learners to master the skills. This consistency and repetitive practice of skills is super beneficial for all types of learners.
Learning through Refection & Self-assessment:
A good coach will develop empathy with the learner, stronger understanding, and relate to them.
The opportunity to work closely with a coach who knows what they are doing, is passionate about their work, the learner ‘enjoys’ the sessions & practice, and the coach can work with all the above – will all lead to a valuable and beneficial experience.
We are passionate and motivated to making the difference, and allowing all children to be the best they can be in their chosen sport. We value the importance of providing enriched opportunities that inspire and motivate both boys and girls, providing both intermediate & advanced learners pathways into broader participation, club or academy environments and future employability.