My first step into the coaching world was teaching tumbling and technique at a small cheer gym near my hometown. Being a senior in high school, I was more concerned with my paycheck than with doing the best job I could do.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it there (most of the time), but I didn’t really apply myself.
Later in life, the same thing would happen. Only this time, it’s because I was complacent. I thought, “Hey, I know what I’m doing. Why plan? I’ll just throw some stations together or we’ll do a little bit of this and that and the magic will happen.”
Then even later, I was just plain lazy and tired. I thought, “I’ve worked all day long and now I’ve come here, so I’m just gonna follow someone else’s lead and see what happens.”
That was also wrong. So very wrong. Not to mention, “go with the flow” is not really my style AT ALL. I’m way more uptight than that.
So not only was I lazy, complacent or careless, I wasn’t true to myself. And perhaps that was the biggest mistake of them all.
Being a good coach takes lots of time and preparation. Way more than I could have ever thought as a teenager.
The coaches I had made it look so easy. I just assumed that meant they just knew what they were doing and it all came together.
But in reality, you have to have a plan–a macro plan and a micro plan.
Time to Make a Plan
The macro part looks at your entire season and knows what’s coming up when and what you need to focus on throughout the year. That can include character as well as skill (in fact, it should). And don’t forget to throw some fun in there!
The micro part is where you break it down into practice by practice chunks. You need to have priorities and goals for each practice which then informs the schedule you put in place that day or week.
There will absolutely be times when your plan goes out the window or that you just didn’t get a chance to put something together. It happens to the best of us.
And I’m here to tell you that’s okay … as long as it’s the exception and not the rule.
Everything you do in practice should be with a purpose, intentional. Otherwise, you’re wasting time—not just yours, but theirs and their parents (and let me tell you, parents don’t like that at all).
You’re with your team for a limited amount of time, and if you really want to make an impact you can’t waste any of it.