Coaching is about listening to the athlete and working with them on their goals.

Coaching is about analysing an athlete’s game, and helping them to see what can be changed to their advantage.

Coaching is about pointing out areas which the athlete is ready to improve on.

Coaching is about a partnership between the athlete and the coach.

Coaching is about asking questions, reviewing the possible solutions, and moving towards answers.

Coaching is about pulling a team a together, identifying their strengths, constructing a game plan, and enabling them to implement it successfully.

Basic Boccia Coaching

The sport of boccia has a lot of similarities to lawn bowls. Essentially the goal of the game is to finish with your balls (as many as possible) closer to the Jack than your opposition. In order to achieve this, there are a few basic strategies that can be employed:

  • Ensuring the athlete positions their wheelchair so as to benefit the shot they are playing.

  • Most athletes have particular strengths (short shots, long shorts, etc.) so teaching the athlete to place the Jack where it will give them the biggest advantage (away from the opponent and their strength) is crucial.

  • Teach the athlete the importance of placing their first shot in front of, if not touching, the Jack.

Some basic shots and techniques an athlete / coach can employ are as follows:

  • Knock up shot or driving – pushing one of your won balls closer to the Jack.

  • Throw off – deliberately throwing your remaining balls away (foul territory) if there is a risk of knocking an opponent’s ball closer to the Jack.

  • Smash – scattering the head ball, or taking your opponent’s ball or the Jack off the court.

  • Blocking – strategically placing balls to stop your opponent from accessing the Jack or scoring more points.

  • Drawing – placing a ball at a specific length so it stops beside a ball or in a space.

  • Glancing – deliberately using a ball already played, to change the direction of a ball intended to go into an area hidden by another ball or balls.

Tips for Coaching Kids


As coaches it is important to remember that kids need to enjoy sport in a fund based, light-hearted environment. To maintain attention levels, a short explanation of the rules followed by some activities will keep the kids focused. Encouraging independent decision-making will empower players and helps build their self-confidence.

Having a variety of sporting equipment to use such as targets and soccer practice nets proves very entertaining for the kids while teaching them the elements of the game. It is recommended that drills are done in a step-by-step approach, increasing the level of difficulty progressively. Regular breaks and lots of positive encouragement along the way will keep the kids motivated.

The kids love to end the day with a team’s game against each other. Give the kids the choice…. boys against girls, ramp players against throwers or a mixture of both. It is a guaranteed way to end the day with lots of cheering and laughter.

Last man standing (or person sitting!) is a good fun game which encourages completion. Put everyone’s jack directly in front of them in the position of the cross. Everyone throws one ball, the person furthest away drops out and the game continues until there is only one person standing (or sitting).

Coaching Tips for State or National Titles

In preparation for the Nationals or any major competition athletes should prepare a training plan.

Think about the following: -


Athletes need to maintain stamina and concentration by keeping to a healthy diet.

Physical Training

A structured exercise program can keep athletes strong, flexible and fit. Individualised workouts could be aerobic and/or resistance based. Stretching is important to avoid injury.

On – court Training

During training sessions athletes should practise tactics, strategies and devised game plans. The key is to build on strengths and minimize weaknesses.
Improvement in game performance can be achieved by spending time practicing each element of the game.


Communication is a vital component of playing Boccia. Athletes must communicate verbally or non-verbally, to each other in pairs and teams events.

Additional Resources

Coaching tips can be found on the Boccia Australia website:

The rules of boccia can be found at the Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) website.

Training available on request ‘Ramp-up Boccia Coaching’ - contact Ken on

Also click here to view our Introduction To Boccia Booklet.

Website Developed By: Jessica Irwin DARE2BU