When coaching a session your groups behaviour can greatly affect its overall success so it is important for any coach to understand how to control their groups behaviour whilst still keeping the session enjoyable and informative. There are many different ways this can be tackled with some more effective than others. Read on for some advice from our coaches on how to effectively deal with behaviour in your sessions.
What is bad behaviour?
Bad behaviours can vary from many things such as talking over others to things as serious as fighting. Understanding which behaviours are acceptable is important for both you and your students to understand.
Some behaviours may be down to excitement and may need stopping but are not worth punishing as this might affect the overall flow of the session. This can be things such as shouting and generally being noisy. Stopping these can makes sessions a chore but if left too long can be pushed too far and be disruptive. However some behaviours may require severe punishment and further action after the session. These can be things such as fighting, swearing and racism that shouldn’t be tolerated in any circumstance.
If you use equipment such as basketballs, footballs or bikes you may also have some some specific behaviours with that equipment you don’t want to see from them. Again these should be considered as important as this can relate to the overall safety of your group and yourself.
Dealing with these behaviours.
When working with a new group consider setting out a list of rules and behaviours that you find acceptable and unacceptable. Have the children help you with this to make the list very personal and specific to their group. This also makes punishments later on more meaningful and easy to explain, as they chose what they did is unacceptable. Make sure the list isn’t too long or overly picky as this could make them feel the sessions are no longer fun, which is a main reason to do this in the first place….to keep it fun!
Once you have a list of behaviours you find unacceptable, if it is a group you work with consistently with consider making a small poster listing what they are so they can be reminded or remind themselves.
To deal with any bad behaviours it is always good if you work in schools to adopt their system of punishing bad behaviours. This could be things like a traffic light system, 3 warnings or coloured discs. This will be familiar to the children and they will know when they are approaching a serious point of being removed or banned.
When dealing with behaviours always be consistent in how they are punished and for every child. Ensure that if even a child who is regularly good with their behaviour copies a badly behaving student they are punished in the same way. This shows all the children your approach is fair for everyone and will help you to gain more respect with the group.
If a child has been consistently misbehaving it is important to follow the system of escalation and act appropriately. If they have reached their three warnings and you have set out a 1 minute sit out, make sure this is done to show that actions will be taken. If you don’t do this groups will feel they can receive several warning with no consequence.
Also have hand signals that signify that the groups behaviour is reach unacceptable levels. A raised hand could be for when they are becoming too noisy and need to quite down so you can speak. This not only makes it easier for you as you are not competing with their noise but also builds up routine and consistency.
What after the bad behaviour?
When you have a child who regularly misbehaves and is removed from the group it is easy to take the mindset of them misbehaving into the next session. As a coach it is important to make sure that every child starts with a clean slate in the next session and past behaviours are not held against them. Allowing them the chance to show they can be good and interact will can help to promote better behaviour.
Sometimes with children who consistently misbehave they may have other underlying reasons for their behaviour. Try and make the time to speak to them on a personal level: are they tired? is something happening in school? Many of these things could trigger poor behaviour and simply shouting at them won’t help to stop it. Letting them know that they can speak to you can make your session a place for them to relax and actually enjoy themselves.