HOW TO COACH BUDDING ATHLETES AND IMPLEMENTING CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Coaching plays an important role in shaping athletes and laying the foundation for the future of sports. Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) in partnership with the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) conducted an online workshop for coaches across the country. These sessions were conducted zone-wise for the four zones. The south zone session led by Coach Parthasarathy Thulasi emphasised on coaching and training to protect a child’s interests. The session featured guest speaker, Mr. Thangboi Singto, an AFC Pro License Coach. Coach Singto is an Asst Coach & Head of Youth at Hyderabad FC in the ISL. Later on, Coach Shailesh Karkera outlined the child protection policies.
The session started by talking about the attributes a coach should possess while taking a training session and during matches at the youth level, such as:
- A balance between play and fun
The session then proceeded to shed light on the different approaches used during different stages of coaching. These were divided as follows:
1) At training
- Pre-planning a training session at least 24 hours in advance.
- Sketching out the objectives and improvements to aim.
- Arriving early at the venue and checking the pitch conditions, equipment, and other provisions.
- Making sessions fun and interactive.
- Focusing on Improvement-driven sessions.
- Working on the players’ technical, tactical, physical, psychological, and social abilities in every session.
2) At matches
- Giving equal participation opportunities.
- Encouraging and motivating participants.
- Avoid involving your temper and emotions when making decisions.
- Gauging players’ learnings through your training sessions.
- Prioritising giving players exposure over winning.
- Introspecting on the effectiveness of your coaching.
Apart from training to prepare pupils for matches, coaching should also involve child protection. Following were the points discussed:
- Checking the environment.
- Checking the pitch conditions.
- Not allowing bullying.
- Avoiding intentional or unintentional harm. Eg: tackling or tripping players.
- Recognizing and reporting child abuse in the forms of physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial exploitation.
- Observing sound practices when working with children.
This section was concluded by Coach Shailesh Karkera, who outlined the child protection policies.
The session came to an end by summarising the training philosophies that need to be incorporated by the coaches in their coaching domain.