(I’m ready for some sports ranting! It’s been a while. Here is the first of what may be many coaching rants on the concepts of program building using one of my favorite concepts, The Four P’s: Purpose, Pride, Passion & Performance, as a starting point.)
The bowl season is over. The Chiefs are out of the playoffs. MLB pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. Time to relax, right?
If you’re a football or baseball coach or an ex-coach who still has football/baseball coaching blood flowing through your veins, it’s time to work. It’s time to get serious about a plan.
For the high school/youth baseball coach, you probably already have a good idea about who your kids are, what skills they have, and what they need to improve upon. Your goal is to develop a preseason plan that works all the fundamentals of baseball while infusing those skills with your philosophy or style of play. If you’re new to your program and unsure about what level your kids are, you still need the same plan. The difference is you won’t have the background data to customize your preseason plan as the returning coach does.
For a high school football coach, it’s time to get out those self-analysis notes you wrote down after your season ended last fall out for both you, your coaches, and your team. Review them honestly. Review them with purpose. Go back and watch each aspect of your team’s performance from the previous year. Be honest with yourself and remember this is not the time to sugarcoat anything. Burying problems doesn’t make you successful. Fixing the problems does.
What worked? What didn’t?
Who worked? Who didn’t?
What can we do better?
What can each coach and player do better?
Now make a fundamental goal for the team. My football/strength & conditioning coaching fundamental goal was simple. Develop aggressive, athletic players who hit like a cannon shot. This meant making each of our kids a little faster, a little stronger, and a little quicker. With this in mind, EVERY single thing we did, every minute we did it, on every day we met absolutely had to be with the purpose of becoming a little more aggressive, a little more athletic, and a little more able to hit the opponent like a cannon shot every day.
The secret is in the PLAN!
For both the high school baseball and football coach, these next few months are vital to success. You need to have a purpose. You need to be able to sell that purpose to your kids every day. You need to have every coach in your program either on board with that purpose or on the job board looking for another job. These next few months are crucial to how well you compete. Take advantage of this time. It’s what separates success from failure.
- Make the plan. I always say that you can’t deviate from a plan if you don’t have one to start with. Always be ready to move forward.
- Make it detailed. Cover all the bases of what you want to accomplish.
- Make it active, not passive. No wasted time, no standing around. Respect your players time as much as you respect them.
- Generate excitement through your purpose. Kids and coaches will follow you if you convince them this is exactly where we want to go.
Good luck! Dream big and go do it!
Hard work is the magic.