For Coaches Tips for keeping 5-7 yr olds under control as a CIT?

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Mar 6, 2023
I've been coaching tween aerial circus for over a year now, and I started coaching younger aged tumbling classes as a CIT (coach in training) a couple months ago. My classes are mostly boys, and they tend to be really rowdy and a couple of them refuse to listen to me or my colleague. Obviously I can't make any major changes to class structure as a CIT, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips on being more assertive or respected?
I was always taught the following acronym when disciplining or working with young children "SMELS". It's easy to remember and works well.

Stop - stop what you are doing
Move - move over towards the child
Eyes - look them in the eyes and get them to look at you
Low - get your body low on level with them
Slow - talk slowly and make sure they understand what you are saying

In my head its stop, move, eyes, get low, talk slow
This is very helpful advice. I'm glad you asked the question @theointheair because I am also new to the game and don't understand the norms around coaching children. More specifically, I'm confused about how "mean" I'm supposed to be with unruly children. I love the advice from @Happyfeet!

Followup question: What if I have a mix of good students and bad students? I don't like giving attention to an unruly child if there are other students who are trying to learn.
Young boys have a lot of energy and a short attention span. Definitely do a high energy warm up, keep instructions short and simple, keep them moving. I use reset buttons, can be something like "if I put my hands on my head everyone else has to put their hands on their heads, last one gets a forfeit". Or sometimes I'll say actions they have to do quickly, "Stand up, sit down, stand up, stand on one leg, jump 5 times". These aren't miracle cures but will buy you some attention time :)
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