Fastpitch 411 – The Heart of Coaching

Your virtual fastpitch coaching resource center

Fastpitch 411 – The Heart of Coaching - Your virtual fastpitch coaching resource center

30 questions a well organized coach can answer. Where do you stand?

30questions

BE ORGANIZED, HAVE A PLAN

I cannot stress this enough. If you’re going to coach, have a plan. If you want to have less stress during the season, do the hard thinking NOW so you can stay focused on coaching your players well during the season.

Most coaches won’t do this.  Are you willing to do what others won’t? I think you are.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be here!

I’ll admit, I’ve glossed over this area before.  I always *thought* I was pretty clear on what I wanted and where I was headed…until someone asked me questions like this and I had to give specific answers.  It caught me off guard. I was surprised at how hard it was for me to give clear, solid answers.  Obviously, I wasn’t as clear about where I was headed as I thought I was.

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Begin with the end in mind.” Well, many organizations (not only sports organizations) fail because they don’t do this. They don’t begin with the end in mind. They get all excited about doing something and don’t bother to do the hard thinking first.

I recently heard someone talk about this lack of preparation in terms of learning to fly a plane.  It’s like taking off, getting up in the air, flying (yippee!), then having no idea where you’re headed, no idea where to land.  You find yourself flying around in no particular direction, watching your fuel supply whittle away, with no clue what to do next.

Well, let’s not crash and burn like that airplane would.  Let’s figure out where you want to land and what you need to do to get there.

Some questions below are more philosophical in nature.  Some are logistical.  I might venture to say that while logistics are very important, it’s even more critical that you get very clear on the philosophical ones because they often dictate how you handle the hands on and logistical aspects of coaching.

INSTRUCTIONS (THIS IS A ONE WEEK CHALLENGE!)

Answer 5 questions per day for one week.  Print out this worksheet and write down your answers.  OR type them out in a document and save it on your computer.   OR jot them down on a note on your phone.  OR open up a google doc online and document your answers there so you can access them from any computer with internet access.

You will get through all the questions in 6 days.  If you don’t know the answer the a question, write down your plan of action to get the answer.  Write down the steps are will take to get the answer. Write down when you will have the final answer by.

On Day 7, review your answers.

Optional: Print out your answers.  Review them regularly.  Highlight the ones you still need to get answers to.

Make a schedule to review and update those in a week, in 2 weeks, in a month, whichever is most appropriate.  Put a reminder in your calendar or in your phone or in your planner so that you DO follow up and get these answers worked out before the season starts!

  1. What do you want to accomplish this season as a coach?
  2. Where do you see your team when this season is over?
  3. What is your plan to get there?
  4. Is this a competitive team or a developmental one? Where will your primary focus lie?
  5. What are your hopes for your players as individuals (in what ways do you want to help them most)?
  6. Is this a competitive team or a developmental one? Where will your primary focus lie?
  7. If a player gets just one thing out of this season with you, what do want that one thing to be?
  8. How many times a week can or will you practice?
  9. How long will your practices be?
  10. What are your expectations for attendance?
  11. Who is going to be on staff and what do you expect from them?
  12. What do you expect from parents?
  13. What do you expect from players?
  14. How will you communicate these expectations?
  15. How will you communicate important team information with your parents?
  16. What is your playing time policy?
  17. Who is going to handle all the administrative and logistical planning, paperwork, coordination, and communication?
  18. What league requirements do you need to know and abide by?
  19. Are there league rules your parents need to be made aware of?
  20. What are you going to practice today? This week?
  21. What do you want your team to know and be able to do proficiently by the first game of the season? By the middle of the season? By the end of the season?
  22. What kind of equipment do you have to work with?
  23. Where are your team uniforms coming from?
  24. How much do they cost?
  25. When do you need to order them in order to get them before the season starts?
  26. What will be ordered as as team and what do parents need to get on their own?
  27. What equipment and supplies do you need to do your job as a coach?
  28. Which if these things do you currently have and which do you need to plan to buy?
  29. Does your team need to do fundraising?
  30. If so, or what? How much do you need to raise? What happens if you can’t fundraise it all?
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