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New Years Resolutions for Coaches

New Years Resolutions for Coaches

This is a reprint from an article I wrote last year for Sports Fitness Network


Many of us have created a few New Year’s Resolution to improve ourselves personally. Usually these include something about losing weight or exercising more and will last for a few weeks (for me they lasted a few hours). However, we should also take a few moments and consider some ways to improve our coaching career. Here are a few ideas to help us become better coaches.

I will attend one clinic/convention this year.

Every sport conducts clinics and workshops to help coaches learn more about their sports. Most of these are free or charge a nominal fee. Contact your club/league or sport’s governing body to schedule your educational workshop.

I will read at least one book on coaching.

Hit the local library or check out Amazon for options on books about coaching. It could be specific to your sport, about coaching in general or about the experiences of a coach. There will be a few specific ideas you can take from these books.

I will re-write my personal coaching philosophy, expectations and how I manage my teams.

It’s very healthy for coaches to re-visit their coaching philosophy and keep it updated and accurate to why you are out there coaching. Once you change or adjust your philosophy, you’ll also need to adjust your Expectations and Guidelines for your team.

I will spend less time worrying about teaching the X’s and O’s and focus more on teaching life skills.

At the end of the day, what kids will remember and what you will value the most is how well you were able to teach your players the skills they can take with them for the rest of their life. Did you teach them to be good teammates? To display honor and respect in everything they do? That hard work can overcome talent and ability?

I will learn to be a referee in my sport.

Two huge benefits to this is learning more about your sport as well as getting a healthier perspective on how difficult officiating really is. There are shortages for qualified officials and without officials, there won’t be games. Do your part to keep the games going.

I will help a younger coach become a better coach.

Take the time to help a less-experienced coach navigate the difficult waters of coaching. Remember when you started, there was probably a veteran coach who took the time to help you. Time to pay it forward.

I will focus on teaching skills and How to Play instead of teaching them plays and winning in the short term.

Teaching kids HOW TO PLAY instead of teaching them plays will help your players develop a stronger skill set. Maybe spend less time working on some trick plays or gadget defenses and focus on teaching them the fundamentals and How to play.

I will take time in each practice to communicate 1-1 with players.

Developing those 1-1 connections and personal relationships with players will make your experience as a coach more rewarding. Take the initiative to talk to kids during their water breaks and before and after practice. Talk about their roles, areas to improve on, playing time and other topics as necessary. These conversations are the foundation to a lasting relationship.

I will get certified in CPR and in using an AED.

Learning a life-saving skill should be a priority for adults, especially for those working with kids. You may never use these skills but the one time you do and save a life, a lot of people will be thankful. Contact the American Heart Association or the NFHS.org for more information on free courses offered.

Best wishes for a successful 2015…………..Coach!

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