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May 27

Tip of the Month – May

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Coach Monika Says…


Questions For Head Coaches At The End Of The Season

I found this post by Chris Fore (November 19, 2018) quite helpful for personal reflection on the seasonal performance of both coaches and athletes. Although the post originally is directed at team sport and players, I modified the Title and applied it to both, team and individual sports. I adjusted the terminology (example: players/ athletes, competitors; games or matches won or lost/events, competition, time standards; game/competition strategy; spouse, etc.).

Chris:

Your season is over. Part of you is sad, but part of you can now take a deep breath. You can go home a little earlier, hug your spouse and kids a little more, and maybe go see a movie during the weekends!

But you should also take some time to reflect on the season, in order to make your program better. Watch a film on Saturdays to see how your team played Friday night/your athletes competed on the weekend. Now it is time to evaluate how you did leading the troops. Proper season ending evaluation helps your program improve. Coaches who constantly evaluate their leadership move their program constantly forward in the right direction. Those who fail to do so take their teams/athletes backwards. Spend time now to evaluate your program with the following questions. Get others involved to help you grow.

1. Did I do a good job managing the staff?

In my opinion (Chris), this is the most important part of your job as a head coach during the season. Managing your staff is paramount to success. Was the chemistry of the staff good weeks 1-10? How could you better manage them next year? Take notes now.

2. Did I do a good job managing the players?

Second to managing your staff is managing the athletes. Keeping the chemistry – team sports or individual sports – moving in a positive direction is a challenge. If the chemistry improved throughout the season, you did a great job. If not, why did that happen?

3. Did we increase the morale of the program this year – did it decrease?

Program morale can make or break a season, and thus make or break the competitive season. Obviously, winning “cures” a whole lot of morale issues and losing magnifies the bad parts. If morale of the program did not increase this year, what do you need to do to get it back now – not just with the athletes and coaches but also parents, administration, and the community at large.

4. Did we overachieve or underachieve this year?

The scoreboard/competitive results tell the story every time, and during the season. We all want to overachieve. If you underachieved this year, how did that happen? Figure that out now, to fix it this offseason.

5. Did we stay focused on the overarching goals of our program?

Those fancy sayings on those posters and websites, the “expected school-wide learning results” guide our day-to-day actions. Were those goals carried out this year or did they fall by the wayside?

6. What do we need to focus on during the offseason to make this program better?

This question can usually be answered by addressing the biggest struggle of the season. 

7. Was there any point during the season that I lost control? If so, how did that happen, and how do I avoid a repeat in the future?

This is critical to the future of the program. If you lost control, did you regain the trust/respect of your athletes? Is that negative atmosphere still lingering? If you did lose it, why did that happen? Spend time diagnosing this to help you in the future.

8. What was the major weakness with our coaching staff, and how do I need to fix it?

If your team/athletes struggled in one area that seemed to be a major weakness, can it be fixed by coaching? Sometimes a staff member needs to be let go in order for the staff to get better.

9. If married – did my spouse feel that I made appropriate and quality time during the season?

This might be one of the most important questions here! Avoid being another coaching divorcee statistics – there are too many now these days! Have the discussion with your spouse. Ask them, and be ready to listen. Avoid defending yourself – just listen. Asking the question can go a very long way!

References:

Chris Fore has a Masters degree in Athletic Administration. He is a certified Athletic Administrator, and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the M.S. Physical Education – Sports Management program at Azusa Pacific University, California.

http://coachfore.org/author/cfore/

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