It doesn't matter what sport your child plays, his practices should be fun, instructive, and inclusive. Here are the tell-tale signs of a well-run practice:
- Your child wants to be there: Does your child sprint from the car to join the action or does she ask you if she really has to go to practice today?
- Players learn by playing: Are players running drills and scrimmaging (link to "Games Based Approach") or are they being constantly lectured or standing around?
- Skill development is age-appropriate: For instance, the coach should not try to teach six-year old soccer players how to do a bicycle kick.
- The environment is non-threatening: Players are neither abused physically (such as by being made to run laps around the field for making a mistake) or emotionally (such as by being singled out for criticism or ridicule in front of their teammates).
- Coaches aren't screaming or yelling: There is no place in youth sports for coaches who yell at their players, ever.