First time coaching a sports team? These simple tips will keep you organized the whole season through, with ideas to help coordinate snacks, practices, equipment and positions.
First, determine a practice location that is central to where all of your team members live. Be sure to inquire whether a sports field or park needs to be reserved beforehand and purchase the supplies necessary to help your team get the most out of their practice. Have an alternative location prepared should your initial location not be available.
Before asking your team what day and time works best for them, set some parameters based on your own availability. Leaving it open for everyone to decide can cause a bit of chaos. Your team needs a track to run on (literally and figuratively), so provide them with one.
Generate a snack list (alphabetically) that states who will bring snacks to each game and/or practice. Be sure to offer snack suggestions, clearly alerting parents to any team member allergies. If you aren’t sure what snacks are safe, visit Snack Safely for a list of food items safe to consume based on specific food allergies.
Instead of having each parent carry equipment and supplies to each practice and game, consider renting a self storage unit to use to keep team gear and practice supplies. With sizes designed to fit any budget, and the ability to split the cost of the unit with the team, the price would be minimal and the convenience would be high.
List What Will be Covered
Let parents know what you plan on covering each week so that they can discuss various plays and positions with their kids and practice with them on their own. Providing parents with a plan allows them to feel as if they are a part of their child’s experience (instead of just busing them to and from activities).
Create a list to rotate positions so that players can practice in different locations to enhance their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. At the beginning of the season, ask parents to let you know what they feel their child’s strengths and weaknesses are so that you can begin developing a course of action that will benefit your entire team.
Focus on the Team
Remember, not everyone will grow up to be a professional athlete, but sportsmanship and teamwork are skills that will last a lifetime. More than the sport, focus on teaching your team the importance of helping one another and working together to achieve a common goal.
“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” -Pete Carroll
By setting some goals, listing objectives, keeping equipment in a self-storage unit and focusing on the value of a team rather than just the game itself, you are certain to have a successful spring season.
Go get ‘em coach!