A few tips for working with different ages/skill sets during group sessions:
1) Plan ahead: Prepare different lesson plans with structure for each girls’ needs. I like using my whiteboards to write everything down so my girls have instructions in front of them the whole time.
2) Accountability: I constantly am asking questions to all girls in the group. What did you do? What should you think about? What’s a good trigger word? Can you explain to ____ how to do this? How can you reword this sentence in your own words? Etc. The more my girls can answer theses questions on their own without me prompting them, the stronger they are on their own. This way, I can take my eyes off someone for a pitch or two without them needing my reassurance after each pitch. This also helps train their brain to prepare in a game setting when I am not there chirping in their ear. “Think what would Coach D would say”
is what I tell my littles.
3) Demonstrations: I love my girls learning from one another. For example: I would have Laila (13) demonstrate some of the drills and explain from her own words before I would instruct. That way, I can see how Laila’s brain processes this information and everyone hears two different explanations. She is also wanting to be a junior instructor of mine when she turns 16, so she loves getting practice in during her current lessons.
With my younger girls, I’m teaching them how to “own their position.” That being said, I will randomly scream “All eyes on Anna! *We all cheer for her* while she throws a pitch or demonstrates her pre-pitch routine. This is a great way to get littles not nervous to be the center of attention. This girl did one private lesson and jumped straight into group lessons twice a week as a brand new beginner. She can hang too!
I will even have my littles give each other feedback to one another. This helps everyone reiterate the knowledge they’ve learned and put it into their own words. It also teaches my girls to be coachable and accept feedback from others without shutting down.
#DeepBreath #NextPitch #LevelUP #Throwback