Making It Fun Part 4 – 4 Additional Ideas To Build Positive Energy Into Your Practices

Lead with optimism, enthusiasm and positive energy, guard against pessimism and weed out negativity.’ – Jon Gordon 

This has been a great series for me to remember the importance of having kids love the sport they play. Sure there will be times where the kids need to learn the value of grinding out tough workouts, but there is no reason we can’t bring the energy levels up in our practices by incorporating fun competitive elements into most of what we do.
This week we will wrap up the series with 4 additional ideas for building positive energy into your practices:
This past summer my friend John, who coaches lacrosse, had parents drop off their kids from 4 to 6 every Saturday and had pick-up games. Their was 2 or 3 coaches there to make sure everyone stayed safe, but other than that the coaches stayed out of the way and let the kids figure out teams, resolve arguments, pretty much do everything themselves. This is great not only for developing their skills, but it also teaches them conflict resolution and many other great life skills.
Positive Conditioning – The winners get to run!
During competitions within your practice, instead of punishing the losers by making them do some type of conditioning, you tell the winners they have earned the right to get stronger while the losers watch. You have to put all your attention/effort into recognizing the kids who are earning the right to run.
Small area games like Futsal
Kids that play futsal touch the ball 12x vs. traditional soccer. Simulate these type  of small area games with lots of touches for each kid by breaking into small teams and play within a small confined space.
Involving the parents
Tell your parents: ‘Come ready and dressed to participate at practice’ – They can help you coach, but also kids love competing against the adults, so have competitions and scrimmages against their parents or with the parents mixed into the teams.

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