Our cookies

We use essential cookies to make our website work smoothly for you. To make sure we're always improving, we'd like to use analytics to track how people use the site. We won't set non-essential cookies unless you give us permission. You can find more information about all the cookies we use in our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Some cookies are a must for our website to function properly. If you turn off essential cookies, it may affect how you experience our site.

The non-essential cookies we use help us understand how you use our website and make improvements to enhance your experience.

Child-First, Whatever the Age


with Mick Bamford

Tots Coaching are testament to the fact that the Play Their Way principles of Voice, Choice and Journey can be harnessed to coach even the youngest of children, ensuring their first impressions of sport and physical activity are healthy, enjoyable and holistic – giving them a foundation to continue being active from one to 100.

Coaches asking questions to group of young children

by Ian Slattery

While the West Yorkshire-based organisation hosts rugby and football sessions for children as young as one, they show age is no barrier in their  commitment to a child-first coaching philosophy.

Although such a young age does physically change the ability of very young children to voice their views, the coaching team keep tuned in to the mood and enthusiasm of the group, ready to change up the session to keep them engaged and having fun.

The parents are also heavily included at these sessions, which is vital to keep the toddlers safe, happy and understood. No one knows a child’s mood and motivations better than their parents or guardians, meaning ongoing conversations and ideas sharing is essential to the success of Tots Coaching.

Club Case Study: Tots Coaching

"The way we coach changes every time we have a new child," explained Coach and Director of Tots Coaching, Mick Bamford. 

"We start off with a template but we’re ready to move off from that. If we see a child has taken an activity off in a different direction, we’re like, ‘great, let’s all run with this.'"

To ensure all the session planning starts from a child-first perspective, Mick prioritises the key tools that create the best environment for a child to thrive: what can we do that will be engaging, interesting and fun?

When it’s fun, the young kids don’t realise they’re learning and developing. When we talk about developing, we’re not looking so much at sports skills, we’re more interested in how they are interacting with other kids, with the coaches, other parents, their confidence levels. That’s the biggest win for us.”

Mick Bamford Coach and Director of Tots Coaching


Other resources that you may like...

A young boxer taking part in pad work training with their coach in the boxing ring

Case Study: Fight for Peace

A young cricketer puts his arm around the shoulder of a team-mate in celebration

Case Study: Chance to Shine

Girls celebrate playing football

Our Philosophy



Help spread the word by sharing this website with fellow coaches!


Help spread the word by sharing this website with fellow coaches!