"You get better or you get worse, you never stay the same..." or so the saying goes. I call the period between our last game and our first practice of the new year the "Opportunity Season" as opposed to "Off-Season". The former rings true. This period is rife with opportunities to get better. Better gear, better coaching skills, better staff development, better lifting, running, jumping etc. You have to be active however and sieze/create those opportunities or you will be captured by one of nature's great truisms which is entropy. What was is no longer; shape and form spread out and deteriorate; people move on; player focus and interests move on; basically left untended, the team, the program, the individual will not return to ball in the same state that they departed at the end of last season. To get to a great jumping off-point in 2010 requires leadership and a plan.
A plan begins with a vision. Figure out where you want to be on the last snap of 2010 and plan backwards from there. This is called critical path planning and is very effective. Your opponents and life's circumstances along the way will have a say, but you will know that your course is true if you plan this way and are prepared to adapt as fit when things begin to unfold.
February is a fun time for football coaches. This is a big clinic month and there is nothing like getting some mental scratch with one's colleagues. You may have a pretty good idea of who is going to be in the locker-room come September and may be searching for a tweak to your scheme to fit personel or a wholesale overhaul. There are a couple ways to fly here. There are the big clinics, there are visits to programs/coaching staffs you admire/would like to learn from and then there is books. web-surfing. The web is great because it is free and time/distance are not factors. It is also there for you to revisit as you find convenient. I have begun work on a blog-site that I hope will be a help to you all. Feel free to comment as you see fit and to contribute url's that you visit or find helpful. The site is linked on this blog and I will list it in this entry as well: http://footballoffenses.blogspot.com/
February Program Tips
- Complete all uniform and equipment inventories.
- Complete your program budget.
- Complete Returning Player Interviews: Be sure to ask them who is in the school who should be playing football!
- Organize Returning Booster Clubs/Coaching Staff.
- Set in place/operationalize fundraising.
- Organize and Distribute Annual Plan to your Coaching Staff/Admin.
- Order required equipment.
- Maximize turn-out for strength & conditioning/Build plan for players returning from Winter Season of Play Sports to engage.
- Book transportation/facilities that are required for Spring/Fall.
- Get all program contact information to BCSSFA.
- Book Program/Individual Photos (I like to get this done the day before spring jamboree as there is an entire summer to upload on BCSSFA site and send photo in to BCSSFA playoff program thus leaving open time to coach when it counts in the Autumn).
- Research/engage kids with Spring and Summer Skills and Development Camps.
- Build a Blog or website for your team/program. Instead of wasting time phoning folks, have em make a habit out of visiting the site to get critical information.
- MAKE A POINT of visiting your school's honor-roll assembly and addressing potential recruits. Make a particular emphasis of doing this with the younger grades. Chances are these guys are not only "intelligent' but that they have some very positive work-habits to accompany the brain-matter. This fibre never hurts and always helps the overall team picture.
- Get those motivation posters/sayings up around the building.
Find a wall in your school's halways, the busier the better; and start hanging program photos by year. You will find students gathering around these photos discussing football year-round.
Good Luck All!