Use “Go Words” to stop wasting time

How to Hold a Group’s Attention Until You Have Completed Your Explanation

“Go words” are words or phrases that can be used to hold a group’s attention until  you have completed the full explanation of what you want the group to do next.

An example of a situation without the use of “go words”:

You begin a session with a group sitting in front of you. To begin, you want the kids to stand up and find a space by themselves in front of you, ready to begin a quick warm up game. You say to the group: “By the time I count to ‘three’, I want you to stand up, and quickly find a space to yourself in front of me . . .” Predictably, before you can finish your explanation, the kids have begun to move, missing part or all of the rest of your explanation.

An example of the same situation using “go words”:

This time you say: “When I say ‘GO’, by the time I count to ‘three’,  I want you to stand up and find a space to yourself in front of me. Ready? GO!”

Other examples of “go words”:

“In a moment . . .”

“When I say so . . .”

“When I give you the signal . . .”

“When I blow the whistle . . .”


“Go words” can help a coach to effectively manage a group by:

  • Ensuring that the group’s attention is held until the end of the explanation.
  • Ensuring that the kids hear and understand a full set of instructions.
  • Making it less likely that instructions need to be repeated.
  • Allowing a series of instructions to be communicated. i.e. “Do this, then this, then this. Understand? GO!”
  • Saving time by making it less likely that you will need to call the athletes back in again to hear the rest of the instructions that they have missed.

Try using go words next time you are working with group!

I would love to hear how it goes. Let me know by leaving a reply/comment.

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Anchor or via email.

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