Master Plan

This article was provided by the Coaches Network

Dr. David Hoch, CMAA, CIC

Planning is an important aspect in most professions and this definitely includes coaching. The better that one prepares, the easier and smoother everything should go and the fewer problems that you should experience. Therefore, the first place to start is with a master plan, which would include the off-season, the pre-season, the in-season, and the time period immediately after the conclusion of the season.

For many sports, coaches have a year-round involvement. And the perfect time to get started planning for the next season is during the off-season. Here is a sample Master Plan for a coach:

Ensure that all assistant positions are filled
Prepare or revise the team selection matrix
Update and revise your team rules
Schedule conditioning sessions, including summer weight training
Submit bus requests to the athletic director
Prepare the tentative scouting schedule
Plan the pre-season parent meeting

Review with the assistants their duties, including scouting assignments
Monitor conditioning sessions
Issue equipment to athletes
Conduct the pre-season parent meeting
Prepare and submit the team eligibility form

Plan daily practice sessions
Review with assistant coaches what their game-day responsibilities are
Check the practice area daily to ensure that it is safe
Schedule coaches to supervise the locker room and lobby prior to and after practice sessions and games
Monitor the academic progress of your student-athletes
Communicate with the athletic trainer regarding injuries and rehabilitation
Return phone calls and e-mail messages from parents
Report all problems, during practice sessions, games and with parents, to your athletic director
Call in or e-mail game results and stats to the local media

Collect, inventory and store equipment and uniforms
Meet with each athlete and share an individual improvement plan for the off-season
Create and turn in your budget request
Submit to your athletic director a list of repairs needed for your facility
Evaluate and meet with your staff–assistants and junior varsity coaches
Meet with the athletic administrator to evaluate the program
Write college letters of recommendation for your senior or junior athletes
Submit a list of awards and help plan the awards program or banquet

This outline is intended to be an example and is not meant to be an absolute or all-inclusive list. But it should give you an idea how to start the planning process for your season. Your preparation may include creating or revising forms, writing guidelines, and preparing checklists for many of the responsibilities. Anything and everything that you can do to get ready should be considered.

David Hoch retired in 2010 after a 41-year career as a high school athletic director and coach. In 2009, Dr. Hoch was honored as the Eastern District Athletic Director of the Year by the Nastional Association for Sport and Physical Education. He was also presented with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Distinguished Service Award, and in 2000 he was named the Maryland State Athletic Director Association’s Athletic Director of the Year. Dr. Hoch has authored over 460 professional articles and made more than 70 presentations around the country.

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