One thing I really liked doing when I was a Head Coach was surveying my players every year. You can read about one of these surveys I’ve used every year I’ve been a Head Coach here.
I really believe that getting feedback from your players and coaches will do three things for you:
1. Help you see weaknesses in your leadership and your program that you wouldn’t otherwise see.
2. Help you to make your program even better on a year to year basis
3. Give your players and coaches a sense of trust and confidence in you as their Head Coach.
If you are humble, open and honest about making positive changes, you will gain their trust and confidence.
So, I like to do an anonymous survey that the kids do online, all at once in a computer lab. I used Survey Monkey to do this for years, but now I would probably do it via a Google Forms document. They can put their name, but don’t need to.
And then, I meet with every player, like an exit interview type of thing one on one. Even if I know the kid isn’t returning, I meet with them. In fact, those types can be the most important ones to speak with. Your seniors too. Don’t neglect them because they are leaving. In fact, many times, they will be more honest with you than the underclassmen, for obvious reasons.
Here are 10 questions I ask in my one on one meeting.
1. How did you feel about our practices?
2. How do you think we can improve our offense next year? What steps can we take as a team to do even better offensively?
3. How do you think we can improve our defense next year? What steps can we take as a team to do even better defensively?
4. How do you think we can improve our special teams next year? What steps can we take as a team to do even better with special teams?
5. How would you evaluate the team captains and the leadership on this team?
6. Do you think the team as a whole kept focused on our theme and goals this year? Why or why not?
7. Are there any issues with any of my coaches and you or my coaches and any other players that weren’t solved at the end of the season that I need to know about?
8. How could I have done a better job as your head coach this year? What would you have handled differently?
9. Who is one person on campus who is not playing football that you are going to try to recruit for our football team?
10. What are three goals you have for football next year, and how can I help you achieve those?
Check out Fore’s Outside the Lines Football Coaching Manual here. It’s 105 forms, documents and templates that every Head Football Coach needs to run an efficient program administratively. Your time is valuable, save it with this manual!
Chris Fore has his Masters degree in Athletic Administration, is a Certified Athletic Administrator and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the M.S. Physical Education – Sports Management program at Azusa Pacific University. He is a speaker with the Glazier Clinics, and a Coaches Choice author. Coach Fore runs Eight Laces Consulting where he specializes in helping coaches nationwide in their job search process.