Tag Archives: Environment

3 Environmental Distractions You Need To Know About When Coaching Kids

Simple Tips to Side-Step The Attention-Stealers In Your Surroundings

When coaching kids, we need to be aware of how the environment can influence and interrupt the attention of those we are trying to teach. Here are three environment-related coaching strategies that will help keep your session on track:

1. Shun The Sun

Always face your group away from the sun. It is preferable that you face the sun. Otherwise, the kids needing to squint and shield their eyes will outweigh their ability to keep focused on you. Note where the sun is and position yourself and any activities so that it doesn’t become a distraction. If you can’t turn them entirely away from the sun, one or two steps this way or that, or even just squatting down in an attempt to change the kids’ angle of vision away from the glare can improve the situation.

2. Watch Out For the Wind

It is important that everyone can hear you, so be aware that your voice can be carried away by a strong breeze. When kids can’t hear you, they quickly lose interest. In windy conditions, you need to position yourself so that your voice still carries to the group. This may mean you moving closer to the group or gathering the group around you. You may also need to be prepared to repeat yourself as you move positions so that different sections of a group can hear you.

Don’t forget that gusts of wind can also pick up dust and dirt, so make sure you protect the kids by facing them away from any potential incoming airborne particles that may be blown their way.

Finally, strong winds can play havoc with some lighter-weight equipment, so avoid trying to conduct any activity that involves items (such as some ground markers) that can be blown over or whipped away in the breeze, consequently disrupting your session.

3. Block Out Background Distractions

Try to position the group so that any potential background distractions are not within the kids’ fields of vision. A background distraction can be anything from a busy road to other groups; in fact anything other than what is going on in front of them.

In a busy environment, sometimes background distractions are unavoidable. In this case, you need to work to be more interesting than anything else happening in the vicinity and/or reconsider the frequency, duration, and mode of directions and instruction that you can deliver in those conditions.


Make sure that you take into account potential environmental distractions when deciding where you will stand to deliver information, and when setting up a session.

Determining where to position groups and activities within a coaching session can be a bit of an art, particularly when the positioning of these distractions conflicts. A blazing sun on one side and an attention-grabbing distraction on the other can cause all sorts of problems for a coach.

There will be many situations, however, where you can eliminate any issues posed by the environment by remembering the basics:

  1. Face your group away from the sun
  2. Take into account the strength and direction of any wind
  3. Try to keep background distractions out of the group’s field of vision.

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.

Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

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