Coaching Guidelines

KEEN veteran coaches have put together the following suggestions for having the best possible time with an athlete:

1.  Read your athlete’s profile.

  • Look for helpful hints, like calming techniques, motivating techniques, or behavior management techniques.
  • Read about what the athlete’s parents hope the athlete will gain from KEEN.

2.  Talk to the athlete’s parent when he/she is being dropped off.

  • Ask whether there is anything new you should know (e.g., is athlete particularly tired, did athlete learn new skills at school, etc.).
  • Clarify any questions you have about the profile.

3. Communicate clearly.

  • Tell your athlete at the outset of the session exactly what activities you will be doing.
  • When giving any instructions, keep your directions short and simple. Avoid complex directions. Break down tasks/activities into distinct pieces, if needed.
  • Make eye contact with your athlete when giving directions.

4. Be firm but also kind.

  • Some athletes respond to clear direction and firmness, so don't be afraid to speak firmly and set clear boundaries for those participants who need it while simultaneously noting the athlete's ability level.
  • If you have any challenge with your athlete, check in with the Program Director for assistance.

5. Recognize and celebrate progress.

  • The way we “measure” progress in a KEEN session is very different than how progress might be measured in other settings. For example, it might be a great achievement for an athlete just to make it all the way through the session. Or it may be an amazing accomplishment to follow a simple set of directions.
  • Each step is significant. Putting all those steps together can add up to a major accomplishment.
  • Celebrate with “high-fives” and by sharing important moments during “Prouds.”

6. Share ideas with future coaches.

  • Record helpful hints on the athlete’s profile, particularly if something worked well.
  • Make note of activities your athlete particularly enjoyed or disliked.

7. Ask for help if needed.

  • The KEEN Program Coordinator is typically roving to check on coaches and athletes. Feel free to stop them and ask for help.

8. Have fun!