Conducting the Session

Having prepared for practice, the coach is ready to conduct the session!

Organizing Players Into Groups

The use of small groups in practice is often necessary, whether it is dividing into two teams for a scrimmage or using “stations”, where different groups undertake different activities. An advantage of using stations is that it can help to keep the athletes engaged and active rather than standing around, which often happens in one big group.

When arranging groups, coaches should:

  • Create maximum participation opportunities (a planning principle);
  • Encourage players to become responsible for their own efforts and performance (the coach will not be able to supervise all the groups at the once!);
  • Allow social interaction to occur (the primary reason young children participate is to have fun!);
  • Consider aspects of ability, gender and friendship (don’t always put the best players in one group);
  • Encourage cooperation between players as they work to achieve their goals.

To form the groups, the coach should use clear and consistent commands, to have the groups formed as quickly as possible. In planning the session, the coach may determine specifically who will be in which group and on other occasions, they will know what size groups they want and can form them with instructions like:

  • “Form a pair with a person of about the same height”;
  • “Stand with another pair and form groups of four”;
  • “Get into groups of 3”;
  • “Two to a ball”;
  • “Into groups of 3, each group with one ball”;
  • “Four lines on the baseline”;
  • “Four groups of three in each corner of the half court”.