Contributed by Steph Bardell.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.
It is important when coaching any sport to young children that you are clear and concise with your coaching points. Nose, toes, throw is a simple rhyme to encourage children to develop the correct throwing technique.
Start with all players reciting the rhyme, whilst pointing to their nose, then their toes, and then simulating the throwing action. Demonstrate how to use the rhyme:
- Nose: Look at the target before throwing (encourage young players to point at their target).
- Toes: Take one step forward towards the target.
- Throw: Throw the ball.
A great game for 3 to 5 year olds to practice this technique is Spaceship Destroyer.
Set up a spaceship in the middle of you playing area using small portable goals back to back (you can improvise by using visual aids). The children become astronauts, where they have to use the fireballs spread around the island to destroy the Aliens by throwing them into the Spaceship (goal). Introduce the bases or hoops as power stations; by throwing from these the Astronauts get more power/points.
Ensure that all players start together. Get everyone to stand in a space, and recite the rhythm together. Once they have thrown their first ball at the spaceship, players will run and get another ball and continue playing and throwing at their own pace. Encourage children to recite the rhyme every time they throw the ball.
By the end of the session all your players should know the rhyme and how to throw the ball using the correct technique.