A Coaches Back to School Guide
If this is your first year coaching or a seasoned vet, this article can apply to coaches of all skill levels. Reevaluating your coaching early on in the year can set your teams up for success and help you grow as an individual. I’ve put together a list of the top 5 things you’ll need to do to shake up your routine and keep you fresh for the new school sports seasons.
Have a Tool Kit
Having a tool kit is the best thing you can do for yourself. Much like a teacher’s lesson plan, it will help you inspire, improve performance, and train harder. Having a play book and practice drills ready at your disposal can also save you when you need it most. You won’t always be on your A game, but you definitely need to act like you are. Your tool kit will come in handy. This goes for you veteran coaches as well. Revisit your go to plays and drills to see what you can freshen up. Your athletes will thank you.
Never Overreact (or Under-react)
Coaches need to keep their cool even in the most stressful environments. You do not want to overreact to a missed goal or a flubbed play. Your overreaction will discourage athletes and further affect their performance. Similarly, if you under-react to a great play, a game winning goal, or a herculean effort, you will inflict a similar effect. Take inventory of how you react to situations and what you can do to make them better.
Don’t Become Desensitized to Losing
This goes for you and your students. Even if you are winning like crazy or losing quite a few games, do not become desensitized to a loss. Losing is a great motivator and should kick you and the team you are coaching. We set out to win and bring that back to our respective schools with pride. Now, I do not want you to go overboard. If you put an immense amount of pressure on not losing, you are only going to hurt the team’s success. Be tactful about how you handle a loss, but it never should be brushed off. The biggest takeaway is the information you will gather about how to better prepare for your next game.
Be an Example
As a coach you wear many hats. You’re a leader, a mentor, and a role model. In order to achieve all of these things, you need to set an exemplary example for your young athletes. There are many ways you can set and be the example your athletes need. Most importantly, you must lead by example. If you want a team of athletes that show sportsmanship, then you also need to be the model of sportsmanship yourself.
Encourage Parents to Watch Competition, Not Practice
If you find that parents are showing up to watch practice, encourage them to come to competitions instead. Parent’s watching practice does nothing for the athlete or the parent. Practice is a time of focus and solidarity. It can be distracting for the athletes and the team as a whole. Gently have a conversation with the parent(s) that shows up to practice to watch.