As in the Army: “Planning can win the war”.
You are more confident, if you have a plan for the training session. After some time as a coach the planning of a training session does not take much time, and can be done on the way to training.
Its hard to get anywhere without a plan. You looses power to the kids, if its always up to the kids what to do, and if you appears bewildered. It might not be that important during warm-up, but during legwork, technical session and individual training its more important.
If you are alone its even more important that you have a plan for the day, as you do not have anyone to take over in case you gets stuck in what to do.
During the planning, remember who you are training. In general, is it kids, youth, adults or a mix. Also remember to ask if a the group can do a specific exercise. What can the kids do physically and mentally? What do the group think is fun? You might try to remember what you thought was fun at that age. Adults might find tag boring, but most kids like it.
Also look to who is role model in the group (beside you as the coach). Are there anyone with special problems (i.e. bad knee, hyper mobile, not able concentrate)? How is the group socially and individually?
The games and exercises must appeal to as many of the participants as possible, and all must take active part of the game. The game must (most of the time) be easy to organize. Number of rules and variations of the games must fit the age and physics of the group. For some exercises it may be possible to customize it to the individual.
The games/exercises should be founded in sports, but does not always require to be a very physical demanding activity. There can also be games that supports and enhances concentration and coordination.
Try to keep fixed time for each part of the training session, so you have time for:
- individual lessons
Do remember to include time for ordinary talk and talk about fencing, and time for information about when the next competition is. Also have time to guide in how to repair a weapon, and answers questions about whether Zorro can really fight.
Once in a while hold a training session with a completely different theme (f.x. last session of the year). The theme could be weapon repair, Christmas (wearing elf hats on top of the masks), Halloween (with everyone dressed up), or anything else you can imagine.