Now’s the perfect time to review your program as a whole.
Social media presence, professional development, culture assessments — there are a lot of things that you might not have time to tackle during a busy season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t key to your program. Once you’re back in the game you’ll be glad you took the time to get your house in order.
Revisit Your Foundation
While your team isn’t playing, use this time to evaluate the core components of your team philosophy.
Mission: The mission is your team’s core purpose. This is the foundation for everything your team does and doesn’t do. Think of a mission statement as your reason for being.
Vision: Your team’s vision is a declaration of the future. A vision statement is about the outcome you’re trying to achieve.
Values: Establishing values sets an expectation for everyone on your team, from players to coaches. Values help you determine who’s a good fit for the team and empower you to make decisions that align with your organization as a whole.
This is also a good time to assess your culture.
Reflect on last season. Think back on the previous season. Were there times you saw someone truly live your team values? What about times someone failed to live up to them? Coming up with these instances will help you see areas of strength and room for improvement.
Look at retention. One of the biggest indicators of a healthy team is its ability to retain athletes. Do students come back to play after their first year, or do many leave after a single season? If you don’t see a lot of returners, it could be a red flag that there’s something in your team culture that needs to be fixed.
Send a survey. Have your players and assistant coaches take a short, anonymous survey about their experience on the team. You can ask open-ended questions like, “Do you feel like your contributions are valued?” and “What could the team do to better show appreciation for you as an individual?” Or you can ask members to answer how much they agree or disagree with a statement: “I feel like my contributions to the team are valued.” This will help you gauge how your team’s culture is perceived by others.
Market Your Program
Have you been neglecting your team’s social media accounts? Now’s the time to dust them off — or set them up. (Not sold on social? Falmouth High School (Maine) Athletic Director James Coffey explains why you should get on board.)
If you’re not sure what to post, here are some ideas:
Team highlight reels
Individual player features (be sure to tag them!)
Challenges for your team
Inspiration to keep players motivated
Fun facts and information about your team
Promoting your team is a great way to attract and retain the best talent. While you’re at it, check out these tips to boost your team profile on Hudl.
Step Up Your Game
Can’t go to clinics? Don’t worry — there are plenty of tools for remote professional development.
If you want to connect with your fellow coaches, check out these platforms.