Many head coaches live a world of chaos, moving from one thing to the next just trying to get things done. That's not a strategy I recommend or adhere to. While being a busy coach has moments of chaos, I like to live in a basketball world that is under control. I believe coaches have enough to do without intentionally adding chaos. They have to manage practices, create game plans, oversee camps, and develop their players to name just a few things. This all takes time and can be done much easier and with better results when they add control - namely organization - to their busy coaching life.
Whether you like checklists, using a planner, writing on a calendar, or putting reminders in your phone, developing a system to keep you organized can and will take you and your team to new heights.
Personally, I use a combination of a calendar and checklists. I write down a list of everything that will be coming up over the next three months. Once I have my list, I print out three months of calendars and put pencil to paper, writing down important dates. From there I look at what needs to be done to make each date or event successful.
For summer camps my list looks like this:
Summer Camp Dates June XX - XX
- Order camp supplies (ball, cones, floor tape, pencils, folders)
- Create camp worker sign-up form (use Google Form from last year)
- Reserve gym dates and times for camps
- Double check other sports camp times for possible conflicts
Organizing an event is different than organizing and improving a program though. As the leader of a program there isn’t always a roadmap to follow with dates, events, and deadlines. The varsity coach has to set a vision, goal, and actions to move the program forward.
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I find the best way to get organized is by asking myself questions. This helps me organize my thoughts which then leads me to the actions I need to take.
Here are examples of the types of questions I would aks myself (along with my answers):
- What are the top priorities I have for my players and my program right now?
- Develop shooters and finishers
- Get players in the weight room
- What areas can I delegate to make sure we optimize our time and efforts?
- Weight room and gym supervision can be a shared responsibility
- What systems and routines can I put in place to help me and my players achieve more?
- Develop and handout weight room workouts
- Host shooting workouts to teach & promote our shooting system for players to follow during the off-season
This type of question asking and planning is extremely important when it comes to making sure I’m organized. I know what is currently happening, what I want to happen in the future, and what I need to do to get things done. It helps me create a plan and vision for where I want the program to go.
Some coaches may read this and think, “This takes too much time.” I think the opposite is actually true. Being organized saves me time. I have more time with my family, more time being prepared to teach my classes, and more time to enjoy being in the gym with my team.
Enjoy the process, right? That’s what we tell our athletes. That’s what I tell myself too, and I truly get to enjoy the process of coaching my team and leading a high school basketball program by using a system of calendar planning, making a checklist, and question asking. Each of these three tools keeps me organized and allows my program to be successful year after year.
With the right strategies and tools, you can streamline your coaching tasks and make the most of your time. If you're looking for additional resources and support, CoachMattDennis.com is an excellent resource that offers valuable insights and tips for coaches at all levels. From drills and practice plans to game-day strategies and leadership advice, you all coaches will find wha they need inside the Coaching Vault. Varsity coaches can join the Championship Coaches Group to learn and grow alongside fellow coaches. So, take advantage of this resources and start taking your coaching skills to the next level!