The May issue of The Fitness Journal of the International Association of Fitness Professionals recently offered some excellent tips for fitness and sports trainers and coaches who work with teens.
Set the Tone – Teens need to know expectations and procedures early on. That also means effectively introducing yourself and letting them know that “listening and following directives” are expected.
Explain information thoroughly – If you take the time to explain each drill or exercise clearly, you won’t have to keep repeating and reminding the teens, which will save time and energy. Ask them if they understand all the directives and information and allow a question period.
Demonstrate the Action – Many teens need visual cues in order to really be able to perform athletic moves. Be willing to take the time to perform the moves so they can actually see details.
Get the teen athletes to “buy in” – Make sure they understand the rationale behind specific drills, fitness moves, strength training and conditioning exercises and even basic nutrition. Connect the dots for them so they understand why they are being asked to perform these specific efforts.
Know each individual teen in the group – Read the personality types. Some teens respond to yelling and higher expectation better than others, some need initial gentle coaxing, and some teens respond well to intermittent positive reinforcement.
They need to know you care – Show passion, give genuine feedback, and address any concerns. Let them know how invested you are in their success.
-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach