How to Coach beyond the Season

Is your team mak­ing the most of the off­sea­son? Coach Stone offers a few tips on where to focus this summer.

How to Coach beyond the Season

Is your team mak­ing the most of the off­sea­son? Coach Stone offers a few tips on where to focus this summer.

Games aren’t won in sea­son, they’re won dur­ing the off­sea­son. And there are a lot of mov­ing parts to over­see to be ready for an upcom­ing sea­son. Here are a few things for coach­es to focus on in the off” months:

Collect all the equipment from players at each level.

  • Have equip­ment spe­cial­ists deter­mine what needs to be recon­di­tioned or replaced for the upcom­ing season.
  • Take inven­to­ry so you know what to order.

Schedule time to talk with all your players to discuss how they think the season went, and what their personal and team goals are for next season.

  • Conduct exit inter­views with your seniors.
  • Schedule col­lege recruiter vis­its for players.
  • Talk to return­ing play­ers about last sea­son, the upcom­ing one and the addi­tion of new team members.

Hold players accountable for their classwork throughout the whole school year, not just during season. 

  • Keep using eli­gi­bil­i­ty sheets from the sea­son if they aren’t in anoth­er sport.
  • Make sure a study table is avail­able either before or after school for the play­ers that need it. 
  • Keep open lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with play­ers’ teachers.

Set next season’s weightlifting times, dates and programs early so players know what’s coming.

  • Make sure all play­ers can be there, unless they’re play­ing anoth­er sport or have school or work com­mit­ments. This helps play­ers stay on track to reach their per­son­al goals for the upcom­ing season.

Oversee the weight room to make sure players are improving in their lifts in a safe and secure environment.

  • Have the strength coach take atten­dance on a dai­ly basis, and track what the play­ers do to give them a visu­al incen­tive to improve.
  • Use the atten­dance sheet to stay in touch and con­nect with ath­letes in the off­sea­son. It will also help you see which play­ers are ready for the season. 

Create and share the team’s spring and summer schedule.

  • This allows fam­i­lies to sched­ule vaca­tions and time together.
  • Players can plan to attend camp and adjust their sum­mer jobs around prac­tices and weights.
  • Helps par­ents plan rides to and from prac­tice and the weight room.

Renew your Hudl subscription.

  • Hudl is a vital com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool for coach­es and play­ers. It allows play­ers to review their games and see what they need to improve before the coach tells them.
  • Coaches can review games and see what areas need improvement.
  • Players, espe­cial­ly seniors, can cre­ate high­lights to use when apply­ing to col­lege programs.

Assess your staff, from the head coach down to volunteers. 

  • Replace or move an assis­tant coach that didn’t do their job.
  • Find replace­ments for any assis­tant coach­es who moved or left the program. 

Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise

Attend coaching clinics with your staff to learn new ways to be successful.

  • Either bring the clin­ic to your staff or take your staff to a clinic.
  • Knowledge is pow­er and an effec­tive coach nev­er stops learning. 

Take time to support your players by going to see them participate in other sports or school activities.

  • The coach­ing staff will con­nect bet­ter with their play­ers when they know they’re more than a num­ber on the field.
  • This also lets the par­ents know that their child is in good hands.

These are just a few of the things coach­es can do in the off­sea­son to be bet­ter pre­pared for next year. Share what your team does to stay on track for the upcom­ing sea­son with the hash­tag #HudlOffseason.

Anthony Stone is a phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion teacher at Gregory Elementary School and quar­ter­backs coach at Boylan High School in Rockford, Ill. He is also the defen­sive coor­di­na­tor and assis­tant head coach for the Women’s Australian National Outback 2017 Team & writes blogs for Firstdown Playbook.

In July 2016, he was named to the Hudl 100 list. He has pre­sent­ed at IAPHERD, the top phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion con­ven­tion in Illinois, on how to get stu­dents mov­ing with his Games Galore pre­sen­ta­tions. He has also pre­sent­ed at the Chicago Glazier Clinics on quar­ter­backs & spe­cial teams. He was the defen­sive coor­di­na­tor for the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Tackle Football Team, win­ners of the IFAF Women’s World Championship in which Team USA did not allow a point in three games with an over­all score of 201 – 0. Stone has coached in the CIFL and the IWFL Leagues as well as Beloit College (linebackers/​special teams coor­di­na­tor) and Rockford University (quarterbacks/​wide receivers).

Stone has also coached foot­ball at the youth, mid­dle school and high school lev­el. He will be putting on fun­da­men­tal youth foot­ball camps around the world in 2017. Please con­tact him to bring his Back to the Basics Youth Football Camp” to a city near you.

Follow him on Twitter @Coach_Stone_MT.