What Yu-Gi-Oh Can Teach Coaches

In the popular card game Yu-Gi-Oh, the goal is to create a deck of cards that allows the deck owner to defeat opponents in a card game duel. Though you seldom find coaches playing Yu-Gi-Oh, you do see them struggle trying to defeat their archenemy – time.

There is seldom enough time in a single practice or enough practices in a season to cover all the material coaches want to review with their teams. Organizing practices before the start of a season gives coaches the best chance of getting the most out of their limited time. Here is one organizing method that coaches may find helpful:

  • Pick a limited number of standard drills that will be required for the season.
  • Identify activities that the kids will enjoy (such as scrimmages, relay races, etc.)
  • Name each drill and activity with something fun and easy for the kids to remember.
  • Place each skills drill on a white index card with its name and time requirements.
  • Place each fun activity on a colored index card with its name and time requirements.
  • Before each practice, pick two colored cards (for the front and back of the practice deck) and then enough white skills drills to fill the time between.
  • At practice, as each drill is used for the first time, teach the kids the drill and the drill’s name.
    As the season progress, kids will remember drill details by name, which will save practice time by reducing the time needed for explanation. Practice plans become easy to create by just rearranging or rebuilding the practice deck. More importantly, by starting and ending the practice deck with a colored card, coaches remember to keep fun as a key part of their practices.

As in Yu-Gi-Oh, building the right deck helps coaches overcome their opponent (time). As coaches refine their deck with new or better drills, it is conceivable that coaches could even “trade” their cards with other coaches so that everyone can win.

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