By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck:
The level of success you have this season will depend upon your organization. Your CoachDeck contains 52 great drills to assist you. But the bottom line is, come to practice with a strategy in which all players are constantly active and doing something productive, and you’ll look like a genius and wonder where the time went. Come to games with an organized plan and a prepared player rotation grid, and instead of managing chaos, you’ll be managing a team.
The need for organization goes well beyond what you do on the field. You may want to begin each season with a letter to all of your team’s parents. And don’t try to run the team it all alone. Enlist as much help as you can from other parents who come out to practice. Many of them are willing to help but do not want to “butt-in” and won’t approach you if you don’t ask. Often, once you ask another mom or dad to help out, you’ll have another assistant coach at every practice and game thereafter. But if you don’t ask at the first practice, they may just all figure you’ve “got it covered” and that you don’t want any help.
There are other aspects to your organization as well. It is important for you to set a good example to your team by always arriving to games and practices on time, if not early. You should expect nothing less of your players.
Keep your equipment bag neat and organized and make sure that you’ve got everything stored where it belongs when practice or games end. It’s a great idea to get your players in the habit of putting all the gear away after every event.
Finally, make sure you recruit a good team parent, or, if one person is unwilling to do this job alone, ask two to share the duty. A good team parent makes your life imminently easier as he/she will help you send emails and make phone calls to your team concerning practices, rainouts, game schedules and other necessary items. The team parent can organize your season snack schedule and end-of-the-year team party. I’ve had a team parent so thorough she even produced laminated roster cards for every player and their parents containing players’ names, uniform numbers and contact information, along with clips to attach them to every child’s bat bag. I can’t tell you how often I needed to call a player and used the roster card on my son’s bag because it was handy.
Your organization skills are often the difference between positive parent feedback and negative. And whether you’ve got a ton of experience coaching or are a novice, spending a few minutes ahead of time getting prepared will make you look like a pro.