1. We want our customers to enjoy a small town atmosphere when they are at the gym: we know them on a first name basis, we know where their parents work, we know their sibling names, we know a fun fact about them/their family, pets names, etc.
  2. Don’t talk about athletes in front of other athletes or parents
  3. Don’t describe athletes by the way they look (hair colour, height, eye colour, shirt colour, etc.) when other athletes or parents can hear you – parents want to know that we value their children and we know them by name (even when we might not know them by name the first day, they don’t need to know that)
  4. Say hello when you see an athlete and/or their family away from the gym (wal-mart, etc.)
  5. Make a point of talking to parents/families and asking about other family members (not just the family member who is in our program)
  6. Following up on a life event with a question (ie. Child had a birthday party on the weekend that they told you about at practice, ask them how it went when you see them next)
  7. Compliment sandwich: for every piece of constructive criticism, there should be two positive accolades (ie. That bridge was really nice Suzie, I like how straight your legs are. On the next one, lets focus on pushing through our feet and opening up our shoulders. Keep up the hard work!)
  8. Ask our athletes what they are going to focus on (feed them this information)
  9. Be specific when giving compliments (ie. good job is not enough… great job with your back walkover today, I like how focused you were)
  10. Athletes care more about what their coaches tell them than what their parents tell them – use this as a tool to build a relationship with your athletes by encouraging them and giving them constructive feedback.
  11. Water breaks should be no longer than 30 seconds. This is an opportunity for coaches to discuss what they are going to do next, but is not an opportunity to make personal plans or discuss personal life events.
  12. Even if a skill isn’t necessarily going well, coaches can always praise character attributes and work ethic to keep a child engaged and feeling good about themselves (remember the question: “How was practice?”)
  13. Body language is key! Coaches must always present themselves with open and welcoming body language. Crossed arms and hands in pockets is an example of closed body language and is not acceptable while coaching. Relaxed arms, hands on hips and hands behind your back are examples of open body language and are encouraged while coaching.
  14. Be cautious of “resting face” at all times (coaching, front desk, etc). Resting face refers to the face that we have when we are not thinking about our facial expression and unfortunately, this face is usually an unpleasant, frowning face. This is no ones fault, it is just simply they way our bodies and faces are made. Even if no kids are watching you at that moment, parents may be watching from upstairs, other kids in the gym might be watching, etc. So just make sure that you always have a smile on your face and always avoid “resting face”. A great tip to help avoid “resting face” is to make sure that your eyes are engaged on something at all times! We are more susceptible to “resting face” when we are dazing off or our eyes are overall unfocused.
  15. Be involved with your athletes (age dependent). Tiny/mini: play the game of tag with them (for example). Youth/Junior/Senior: participate in the activities and condition with your athletes within reason.
  16. Encourage athletes when they are conditioning. Place yourselves around the floor and encourage athletes using your enthusiastic coach voice.
  17. Lead by example! Children are always watching what we do, say, eat, etc. If you are eating McDonalds and telling your kids to eat lots of vegetables, what are we teaching our athletes? GOLDEN RULE: Lead by example!
  18. Using one athlete to demonstrate a skill for group analysis. This is an opportunity for kids to feel like a star. Make sure you are not always using the same kid (this can be difficult – especially with stunting). When using an athlete for group analysis, ensure you know the child’s personality can handle the public critique.
  19. Athletes are required to keep all clothing on at all times. Girls cannot participate in anything less than a sports bra and shorts. Boys cannot participate in anything less than a t-shirt/tank top and shorts. The only time it is acceptable for a male athlete to remove his shirt is during open gym when there is no need for coaches/instructors to touch the athlete.
  20. Coaches must be cautious when spotting athletes (particularly a male coach spotting a female athlete or a female coach spotting a male athlete). This is why it is important that participants are dressed appropriately. Always ask permission to spot an athlete before you touch them/spot them.
  21. DON’T. YELL. EVER. Speak with a respectful and patient tone. Let the kids quiet down to hear what you have to say. Don’t try and speak over them. You are the authority, it is their job to be quiet and listen it is not your job to be yell to be heard.
  22. Be coachable by other coaches. Allow your co-workers to help you. Don’t try to do everything by yourself and become frustrated. Our jobs are supposed to be fun for the kids and the employees.
  23. Explain the WHY. “Because I said so” is NOT A REASON. Always tell your athletes the WHY behind what they are doing and why it will help them (Remember the question: How was practice?!) Visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic examples should always be provided. Every child learns in a different way.
  24. Be excited for your kids! Children thrive in a positive environment. Children dwindle in a negative environment.
  25. Always come to practice with Plan A but be prepared to follow through with Plan B. Things don’t go as planned more often than not. Coaches are required to be flexible and able to provide a ROCKSTAR experience even when things don’t go as planned (athlete attendance, etc.).
  26. Coaches are required to gather all athletes when practice is beginning (do not expect students to know what time it is or what time class starts).