Let’s talk about the three most important things to do after your season is wrapped up. There are a hundred things you need to do, but let’s try to put those in three simple categories.
The first thing you’re gonna want to do is collect all the equipment and gear, and inventory that equipment and gear. This is usually a big task, depending on the size of your program. You should utilize as many coaches as possible to get this done as soon as possible. I always liked collecting gear the very next Monday after our playoff loss or championship. I collected gear on Monday, with all of our coaches. That’s their last responsibility of the season. They all know this going into the year. So it’s not a surprise. I asked them to commit to that one last day for this season, and we all come in and try to hammer that out after school.
Some programs might have an equipment manager. Most of the programs I’ve been in do not have this type of service, so it’s all on the coaching staff. Collect gear on Monday, and then I give the kids two days for anything that did not come in. Everyone is going to forget something, they might forget their thigh pads or a jersey at home. So I’ll give them two days of grace, but by Wednesday at 5:00 pm, I’m done collecting gear.
The second thing that i like to do at the end of the season is look backwards by surveying my players and coaching staff. Surveying your players is a great way to get “take the temperature” of the team. I like to ask my players about twelve different questions about the season; everything from the flow of the practice week to the pregame meal to our theme going into next year.
And so getting this feedback from players and coaching staff, it is important for you to evaluate where things are going, the decisions you’re making and if you’re on the right track in meeting the needs of these kids and the needs of the program.
You may also consider surveying the parents. Nobody will give you honest feedback better than the parents. One thing that a parent survey can do is to help you see your own “blind spots” and the programs’ blind spots. Do you want your program to get even stronger in your community? Survey your parents!
Do you not even know where to start in doing a very valuable survey? This is something I do every year as a consultant. It’s a great idea having a third party do the survey for your program because you’ll get the most honest feedback possible. I’ve done this for programs all over the nation. Check out how we do this here.
The third thing you need to do at the end of the season is start to look forward by getting your next season’s calendar ready to go. Sometimes coaches forget to get their calendar up and running early. They wait too long and start missing out on some of the events that they need to get onto that calendar. I always liked to be able to give this calendar out at the banquet. Get your parents informed early. Here is when our training camp will start, here is our dead period, here is our first passing league tournament, that kind of stuff. So again, getting that calendar up and running is an important part of wrapping up this season.
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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 serves as the President of the California Coaches Association. Fore also runs Eight Laces Consulting which specializes in helping coaches nationwide in their job search process. Fore has been named to the Hudl Top 100 Coaches, and the Top 5 Best High School Football Coaches to follow on Twitter by MaxPreps. Follow him!