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Adjust your teaching style to the modern athlete.

With such a wide variety of athletes from so many backgrounds, coaches are called upon to constantly adjust their teaching approaches. This becomes even more challenging when coaches are faced with time constraints in intercollegiate athletics.

How do you determine the best way to teach your athletes? In any group of 15 student-athletes, for example, a coach will find a wide variation in their ability to listen and learn, as well, as in learning disabilities that will have to be overcome to ensure success.

Following are some of the ideas I use in my game plan for student-athletes.

1. TAKE THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR MEETINGS AND PRACTICE:

I have coached places where we met as a staff right up till the start of our player meetings. This left me unprepared and fatigued for my player meetings and practice. You can meet all you want to draw up ideas as a staff, but you had better be at your best when it comes time to teach your athletes, or all of that time will have been wasted.

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2. BE FRESH AND ENTHUSIASTIC:

Work out or find some way to clear your mind and be your best.

Enthusiasm can also mean creativity in your style or approach to daily teaching. Remember, your athletes have been in other classes all day, so be creative.

3. BE A MULTIPLE TEACHER (HIGH 5 METHOD):

With such a wide variety of academic and social backgrounds in your classes, you must use a variety of teaching methods in a short period of time. Not all athletes learn the same way.

4. THE HIGH FIVE METHOD:

Prepare handouts: Some athletes can learn by reading material at their desk, in the locker room, or at home at night.

Put it on the board: Put information in front of the athletes and review it with them in your own words.

Watch tape on techniques: We are in the video age and most of our students learn from pictures -which also help them to visualize what you want.

Walk through it: One of the most effective ways for the average student-athletes to learn. You must physically show them how you want it done.

Run through it at practice (video it): Then have the athletes come back right after practice or the next day to watch it. Watching yourself on tape is far better than watching the tape of others. You sometimes have to see yourself making a mistake to understand how to get it right.

5. SEVEN-MINUTE RULE:

The Commercial Rule. Try to teach the High Five Method in seven-minute segments. Keep it moving!

We are programmed (from TV) to the commercial every seven minutes. Have you ever just sat through a commercial break without getting up or begin channel surfing to keep yourself interested?

Most young athletes have less than a 10-minute attention span before making changes to maintain interest.

6. GIVE THEM VIDEO HOMEWORK:

Most athletes don't know how to watch tape and learn from it. To help them learn what we want from video, we give them a special assignment to watch what we expect from them. This is what I call guided discovery (See accompanying illustration.)

7. BE PREPARED FOR YOUR MEETINGS:

To use your limited time efficiently:

* Have your tape rewound to where you want it to start.

* Have your information already on the board before the meeting starts.

* Have your handouts run off and put into their hands as they come in.

* Have your teaching plan ready, don't wing it. You cannot afford to forget something.

8. GIVE A WRITTEN TEST:

At the end of the week, test the athletes on assignments and tendencies. This will help you evaluate their knowledge and the effectiveness of your own teaching.

Coaches must constantly be adjusting their teaching style to the ever-changing needs of their athletes. By using this model as a teaching aid, coaches will be able to use their time to achieve the maximum amount of learning possible for all their athletes.
HOMEWORK

WATCH MIAMI VS. FLORIDA
(DRAW 10 DROP BACK PASSES)

WHO IS THEIR BEST RECEIVER?

 ***** *****

 ***** *****

 ***** *****

 ***** *****

 ***** *****


By Randy Bates, Defensive Backs Coach

Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:FOOTBALL
Author:Bates, Randy
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2006
Words:695
Previous Article:Track & field.
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