Monday, July 18, 2011

Unifying your Coaching Staff

By James Landers

James Landers(Saint Petersburg, Florida) is a youth football coach in Saint Petersburg, Florida responsible for multi conference championships and a leader in off the field youth development programs. Mr. Landers is passionate about building programs that provide opportunity to all children, regardless of economic limitations. His economic outreach program in Saint Petersburg, Florida is responsible for supporting numerous players throughout the city.

It is the head coaches responsibility to develop a plan and communicate that plan to your coaching staff. This is only part of the process. Throughout the season, a head coach will often have to deal with coaches on his staff that are disrupting the team. This can be done in many ways. Complaining about the offense to other coaches. Constantly suggesting changes to the lineup, etc. It comes in many forms..
It is very important you give your coaching staff a forum to communicate their views. As the head coach, you need and should welcome competing views on a subject. These forums should NEVER be on the field in front of players. Develop a communication plan that provides coaches a way to provide input weekly. Explain that you need their input but also that their input does not necessarily mean you agree with their suggestions.
I suggest the following
• Communicate in the beginning that you will not tolerate ANY back channel complaining.
• Include your coaches in the game planning process IF they want to participate.
• Give your coaching staff a solid forum to list suggestions and/or concerns.
• Once you decide on a plan, communicate the decision to your staff.
• Remove any coach that breaks the policies you outline.
Remember, you are coaching for the benefit of kids. Distractions from coaches remove much of the joy from the game. Be a good listener but more importantly, be a leader that the team needs.

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