Coach’s Log, Entry 1: 5 Steps to Basic Planning
March 15, 2022
Planning or strategizing your approach is essential to success in any field. A quote says, “a fool with a plan is better than a genius without one” or something along those lines. I agree with this quote wholeheartedly, even if I don’t know who said it.
All productivity and success gurus advise using lists and plans for any important project. And what project is more important to a coach than their athletes’ success?
When I say planning, I’ll make it clear that I refer to lesson planning. This practice is one we learn in introductory coaching courses. The NCCP manuals include it in all versions, and it is part of basic certification levels.
New and old coaches should plan for short and long-term goals. And more importantly, we should ingrain in our athletes the importance of planning for success.
I often have conversations with my athletes about thinking about their training and knowing how to acquire the resources they need to thrive in their sport.
Remember that disciplined athletes know what they need to succeed and actively seek it. It is our job as coaches to instil this attitude in ours.
A basic plan should be a map to achieving a simple goal. When writing your lesson plans, and remember that all coaches should do this regardless of how long they have coached for; you should reverse engineer your goals.
Here are 5 steps I take when writing my lesson plans.
- Think about what you want your athletes or class to achieve.
- Determine what drills and resources you need to achieve it.
- Verify that these drills and resources are adequate by talking to other coaches and checking different information sources.
- Test these drills and resources with more advanced athletes.
- Adapt or change your drills and resources based on those test results.
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While we should be able to “think on our feet,” as people love to say, we should minimize the need to do so by planning our coaching approach. Planning also maximizes our athlete’s chances of success. Remember that all behaviours in the gym should aim to benefit the athlete’s progress.
I firmly believe that points 2 and 5 are the most important on my list. Testing and verifying our knowledge is critical to arriving at sound conclusions.
Thank you for stopping by. You can download my free basic skill development plan here.
Happy planning, happy coaching.
— Coach José