Firstly, thanks for all the interaction, suggestions and conversation surrounding Part 1 of this article. I hope those coaches enjoy sustained success in their new roles and I’m glad those thoughts were found to be relevant in your environments. Here is Part 2, and again please feel free to share your thoughts.
14. If you are lucky enough to have assistant coaches, then assign work for them. If they were a part of the old regime, then they will need your reassurance, support and guidance. Use their time wisely. Assign staff to focus on key areas that need improvement and devote time, energy and resources to fixing the weak points in the program.
15. Be a strong teacher of the game. What you’ve done in the past matters less and less over time, even if you’re an ex professional athlete. Prove yourself to be the right person for the job every day it’s yours. The people in your new environment want to know if you know your stuff. Can you help them win? Can you help them develop?
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Prove yourself to be the right person for the job every day it’s yours
16. Develop a list of key past athletes, parents, sports medicine staff, school leaders, faculty and sports department staff. Set up a few key meetings to get to know the most important groups or individuals. Write them a hand-written note after the meeting.
17. Call the parents of your current athletes to introduce yourself and give them your direct contact information. Get their mobile numbers and emails. There is no doubt most problems with parents stem from a lack of communication.
Write them a hand-written note
18. Give key stakeholders your direct mobile number and email and always personally respond to them all. Do not delegate this to your assistants, or give them generic contact information.
19. Make calls to as many local and opposition coaches as possible to introduce yourself. These relationships will be important long after your current athletes have moved on.
Don’t discount the influence of parents
20. Identify your leaders. It is likely they are athletes, but don’t discount the influence of parents, private coaches and strength and conditioning coaches. Whose messages are not just being listened to, but truly being heard? Are they setting great examples? Do they want to win? Are they making the sacrifices necessary to win? Are they good people?
21. Be efficient and eliminate anything unnecessary from your schedule. Value your time highly. When you take over a program, your main priorities are your family, the relationships with your athletes and evaluating and improving the program. For certain roles, you may be responsible for fundraising for program upgrades and building relationships with the media as well. Anything that will help you win is relevant.
Head hunt the expertise you want
22. Market your team. What are the top 3-5 things that make your team different, appealing and successful? What are your advantages? Use these points in your phone calls, emails, mail and social media to spread the word. Create a positive word of mouth tsunami!
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23. Realise you must make improvements every day. Attack the program’s weaknesses and strive to have a “win” everyday in the areas that can help you in competition. Focus on the core issues. How can you win in the short term while building for the future?
Create a positive word of mouth tsunami!
24. Make a list of strengths your team will need to be successful and head hunt the expertise you want. Hire staff that is diverse in strengths, backgrounds and ages. Take your time in the hiring process and don’t hire staff that are just like you.
David Hodge has been given the responsibility of igniting teams and organisations both in Australia and overseas. He enjoys sparking sporting programs so they perform at their potential. Email him at Dave@propelperform.com or follow him on twitter @CoachDavidHodge