Going Beyond Clinics to Ensure Quality Coaching

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck

Think about the last coaching clinic you attended. How much of it do you actually remember? If you’re like most people, you’d be lucky to be able to recall twenty percent of what you saw and heard. When it comes to providing a valuable and enjoyable experience for your recreational players, the importance of the quality of coaching they receive from your parent-volunteers is second-to-none. But are you doing all you can to ensure your coaches are the best they can be?

All too often we hear organizations tell us that the extent of their coach training program is coaching certification or coaching clinics. But is that really enough? Wouldn’t it be ideal if whoever put on the clinic could then attend and supervise every practice run by every coach the remainder of the season? Yet with dozens and even hundreds of teams running scores of practices every week, it would be impossible for a Director of Coaching, or Coaching Coordinator to be everywhere at once. That’s why we developed CoachDeck.

Providing CoachDeck to your volunteer coaches is like having a professional coach oversee every practice your parent-volunteers conduct. We all know that most volunteer coaches won’t take the time to read manuals or books, or sit down and watch videos or download practice plans from the Internet. For most busy volunteer coaches it is all they can do to get from work to practice on time. But we’d still like for them to run great practices. And while coaching clinics are important – alone, they are not sufficient.

What we’ve learned from hundreds of leagues using our product is that if you give your coaches a CoachDeck, they really will open the box, take out the cards and go through them. Now, whether it be in the back pocket, the equipment bag or just the glove box of the car, your coaches will always have a limitless combination of drills and games at their fingertips, making their time with the kids on the field meaningful and effective.

We’ve also learned that providing CoachDeck makes it more likely coaches will return next season. And it just makes sense. Think how reassuring it would be to your parent-volunteers if they knew a professional coach was going to be helping them out at every practice. Our product provides a much-needed shot in the arm of confidence. They know everything they’re doing on the field is legitimate and fundamentally sound.

Additionally, we continue to hear that more kids are coming back to play year-over-year when clubs have implemented our program. Kids are just like everyone else. If they feel they are having success and improving at something, they are more likely to want to continue doing it. Better-run, fun practices mean a better experience for everyone involved.

I encourage you to consider CoachDeck as a resource for your hard-working volunteers this season. If nothing else, giving them a cool deck of cards with 52 color-coded drills they can run at practice is the best “thank-you,” gift you can find for the money. We’d love to work with your organization. And based on the feedback we’re getting from leagues everywhere, we know you’d be thrilled with the results.

Brian Gotta is a former professional youth baseball coach and current volunteer Little League coach and board member. He is the President of CoachDeck and also author of four youth sports novels which can be found at He can be reached at

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