Are you ready for this? – Being a great gameday coach Part 5 of 8

When I think back on my first few years coaching I realize that gamedays were not enjoyable, they were stressful. Why was this? The main reason was that I did not do a good job of doing as the boy scouts do:

‘Be Prepared’

This lack of preparation led to unease of what I would do if unexpected scenarios arose. And more importantly – it took away from my enjoyment of the game and my ability to help the players enjoy the game. Gameday is the time for players to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to showcase everything they have been working hard on in practice. By not adequately preparing, I was robbing the kids of my full engagement and enjoyment of the day.

Here are a few tips on things to prepare in advance of gameday to allow you to feel relaxed because you are ready for pretty much any scenario:

  • What is we’re up by a bunch – who do I want to get some extra playing time to? What if we’re down by a bunch – same question.
  • What is our plan if our base 1 or 2 plays are not working?
  • What if the referees make several costly big calls against you (they will!)?
  • You need a back-up plan for every player on the team- what if we lose our starting point guard or quarterback? You need to act calmly and prepared for every scenario – your team will respond in accordance with how you respond.
  • What if one of my coaches or I get sick or have an emergency? Who will take on that coach’s responsibilities?
  • Have backup equipment (i.e. mouthpieces, jerseys, etc.)
  • Bring a copy of league rules. And know them.

Don’t be the coach who is scrambling to figure out his starting line-up 5 minutes before the game. Be prepared. Then when scenarios occur that are beyond what you prepared for – THEY WILL- just relax, smile, and calmly make adjustments to your plan. Prepare to enjoy gameday.

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