Every season I host a "jumpers party" for my long and triple jumpers. It's my way to communicate how proud I am to be their coach, and to build a team bond that hopefully motivates and drives them as the season continues. It's such a great way to get younger athletes comfortable and feel like part of the team! The first year I did it, it was on a whim and was something I never expected to turn into a HUGE component of my overall program. I highly recommend doing something like this if you haven't already. Get togethers like this are all about building chemistry and getting to know one another. When built correctly, athletes feel part of something larger and work even harder to not let their teammates down.
Here's what we do:
I meet them at a gymnastics location in Madison, WI. While at the location we work on long and triple drills on the bouncy floors and trampoline runways. The kids work on things like triple jump form, flight and landing, flat-flat takeoffs, etc. After a period of time (of drills) I open it up to anything they want. The athletes always seem to come up with fun and interesting games that are both challenging and competitive. Our time at the gymnastics location is always so much fun!
After our gymnastics time comes to a close we head to my house for pizza, soda, and snacks. While there we break down film, and have a general discussion about the jumps (while we eat). After that is done the kids are welcome to play games, watch movies, etc. We generally have two groups of kids between the two levels of my home. Some play video games while others simply visit or find something fun to do.
Last year I got out my VR headset and had the kids play a game called "Face your fears". It was an ABSOLUTE BLAST and the kids were laughing so hard at one another's reactions.
We have one planned in a few weeks and the kids are already getting excited! I'll write an update on how it goes afterwards! Until then, let me know if you have any questions!