Epsidoe 49 – Planning Part 3 (Coach Development)

Your Sports Resource

This week Matt, Jack, and I discuss why internal development is so pivotal to the success of your coaches. Not all development needs to come from associations and governing bodies. You are sitting on a wealth of knowledge that your staff would appreciate.

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00:00:03 – Introduction 

This is the Your Sports Resource Podcast where each week you’ll learn actionable strategies that you can implement so the operations of your club support your staff and the direction of your organization. We are committed to excellence in youth sports leadership. Let’s get started.

00:00:26 – Renata 

Okay, welcome everybody to the, Your Sports Resource Podcast. We have Jack Roach and Matt boss with us again today and we’re going to kind of wrap up our planning series and I want to today, really talk about or focus on coach development. In my experience, now I haven’t worked with many clubs, as Jack has, but in my experience, I find that coach development really is an afterthought.


And they always relate it to budget, and that is because you’re attending those outside opportunities for coach development.


So, there’s a lot of areas where you know you can go, and you know whether it’s ASCA, USA Swimming or ISCA even you know to receive that professional development from the people who have tremendous amount of experience, so you can learn or your peers or that kind of scenario.


But what I’d like to focus on today is the area that I don’t think enough coaches put in place, and that is the internal development, because a lot of clubs do have experiences in their coaches that they can pass along or opportunities of knowledge sharing as they have experiences.


And how I, I’m going to kick this off and then I’m going to hand it over. But I think and how I can see this is a lot of times, you know, teams are meeting weekly, coaches are meeting weekly, but they’re spending every single week talking about administrative items.


And you know, I feel like you don’t need to talk about administrative stuff every week. There’s e-mail, making sure that you’re organized to disseminate that information, and there’s accountability. Like, if you’re having to talk about a meet six times in a row, to me, I feel you’re either disorganized and disseminating the information, or you’re not holding people accountable to getting information back. Okay, now that’s a separate subject.


But I feel like at least once a month there should be an internal opportunity for training. And what do you guys, I’m going to toss it over to you guys. What do you feel like that looks like.

00:02:56 – Matt 

That could be as simple as, I mean, we’re in the age of a lot of information, is easily accessible. So, I mean that could even be. Once a month, like you said, this coach is going to research even this topic. They’re going to come back, present their research to us. We can have a discussion, right?


It doesn’t even have to be the head coach always going down and say okay, we’re going to work on this, this or this. I mean, there’s so many ways and we discussed that, you know, previously as far as having the common language and stuff like, that’s one step of it.


But maybe there’s something that everybody’s been talking about. And so, I’m going to assign this coach to this topic and then next month it’s going to be another coach, another topic, come back and just have a discussion.

00:03:39 – Renata 


00:03:40 – Matt 

I mean, there’s so many ways you could do it and that’s simple now to find all that information and we referred to, there’s a lot of books out there, a lot of research. I mean, it’s easy to start compiling that stuff and kind of see what’s out there.

00:03:53 – Renata 

Yeah. Jack, your thoughts?

00:03:55 – Jack 

You know, I guess that you almost have to find yourself in that situation and don’t be afraid to think out-of-the-box. Like if you look at I, I do believe, I guess based on the size of the staff matters and based on if you have different locations that really matters too.

00:04:21 – Renata 


00:04:22 – Jack 

But it in most in every case that I’ve been in where I’ve been a part of a team, it’s always been of size where we had to meet every week.


And what are you trying to get out of that week? Are you trying to just logistically get it together and what does that look like, are you trying to address a club challenge? What does that look like? Are you trying to help develop the coaching staff so that they can grow and move in the direction they want to move in? What does that look like?


And you know, I guess I could sit around and think about more options or more different situations, but that’s unique to the club. But I do think it’s up to the head coach to go back to the art of coaching again, to have a very open view and be very curious as to how they can best support the staff and really every stakeholder on the team and what does that looks like.


Like, it’s very easy to sit down with your staff and go. One thing that everybody can do is call a coach. Call, call a coach that you might respect and ask them questions, and then come back to the meeting and give that overview of the conversation you have to the other coaches that that’s a great way to help coach development.


But there’s just so many ways. I mean you’ve got ready-made PowerPoints of world-class coaches on the Internet. Find those, go back and look at them. Sit down with the staff and go through those with them. You might not even know what all of it means, but it opens up such great discussion.


There, there’s so many different ways to do what we’re talking about and if you really care, very few of them are bad ways.

00:06:29 – Renata 

Yeah, I think that’s key. And I think that’s where planning comes down. Like I think a lot of times these meetings are, they’re wrong they’re spur of the moment that you know they think about them 5 minutes before they’re getting ready to sit down.


And I think if you could actually just plan out some training for, I mean it’s 12 training sessions. If you’re doing it just once a month, it’s 12 sessions. There’s no reason why you can’t plan it.


And I think like just to even talk about, you know, to relate to what you were saying, talk to another coach or even pull things off the internet. If you send somebody away to the world clinic that ASCA puts on the requirement should be, this is one of the sessions that you need to attend and you’re going to come back. And you’re going to train the other coaches on that, right?


So, it’s not like, listen, I know everybody goes to these events to socialize and meet other coaches they need to do that. They need to learn from each other and have those really good, fun, casual conversations.


But because the club is funding it and paying for it, these coaches should also be able to take at least one of the sessions they attend and ensure that it’s brought back to the organization to learn from.


And then another area that I think that you know, I don’t know that clubs really focus on is communications, right?


A lot of coaches, especially your younger coaches, really haven’t had enough experience in working with parents or handling, I don’t want to say confrontation. Sometimes it’s confrontation. Sometimes it’s just difficulties. You know, speaking a common language with a swimmer or a parent.


And I think having those type of training sessions of like, hey, this is the type of problem that I came across. This is how I handled it. It failed miserably. What have you guys done? Like those two on behavior and working on culture, and relationships. Those are also great lessons that it doesn’t always have to be the technical side of swimming.


It can be the artist swimming like you say, Jack and I think that’s really important, and I really would love to see coaches making that development part of their focus.


And again, I know a lot of times coaches say, well, we never have any money for the professional development. Well, that’s only a piece of it.


And I think that to your point, Jack, reaching out to other coaches usually doesn’t cost money, right? It’s just going to events that cost money.


So, there’s plenty of opportunities to incorporate development into your program and bottom line everybody wants to be of value and provide value so every coach wants to be engaged and they want to know that they’re going to learn and be able to continue providing value and the best way to do that, to keep your culture strong and your coaches with you is to ensure that they’re continually growing and learning and providing feedback and receiving feedback.

00:09:40 – Jack 

Yeah, I have a couple of things I’d like to add up. When you talked about, I think I lost my train of thought just a minute.


Okay, when you talk about meetings and how they can go, they can go off track.  It’s really important that as the head coach you have an agenda going into a meeting and you don’t allow that meeting to go off of that agenda.


So, it’s so easily can, and you’ll end up leaving frustrated and you won’t accomplish what you tried to accomplish. And the other thing that you brought up is. It is very intimidating as a young coach to be confronted by a parent that is twice your age.

00:10:33 – Renata 


00:10:34 – Jack 

And really life experienced more than you. That’s very intimidating. And I think it’s very important for a head coach to let a lower-level coach, no I hate that term sorry, a coach that’s young and new to swimming, to let them know that it’s okay to tell a parent, “I was wrong.”


It’s okay to tell a parent “I’m going to have to get back with you on this” “I’m a little confused with the conversation”. Because you know, the thing about coaching is you will be exposed wherever you are vulnerable if you do it long enough, regardless of your age, you will be exposed.


So, if you aren’t totally honest with confrontations that are challenging to you, it’s just not a good look and it’s okay to be wrong.


And the other thing is like I, I’ve really was never good at tolerating coaches, talking about how bad a parent was. There were very few exceptions to me not knowing that the parent is 50% of the equation that you’re working with, and you better treat it like that, or else that child’s not going to reach their full potential anyway.


And the the other part of that is normally the mother is driving the decisions made not the father and you better have a clear understanding of that, because that’s where the majority of your communication is going to go.

00:12:21 –Renata 

Right. That’s great.


All right. Any final, other final thoughts or comments?

00:12:30 – Matt 

Yeah, I think, Jack, I think that was fantastic to hear too because, you know the parents, they’re looking at their kid, right. And just want the best for their child, right.


And as a coach, you just want the best for that kid as far as progressing them through. So, you kind of have that same goal ultimately, it’s just trying to figure out that common ground of like, okay, how do we work together to get ultimately that child to where they want to go because that’s really what everybody wants to see.


They just want to see the kids have fun, be successful and it’s not just working like, right within the coaching staff. Like you’ve got to get the parents on board to be able to continue to push the kids through that way and continue that. They’re going to enjoy it, have fun, come in and want to work hard and, so it is a it’s a tricky equation.


But I do 100% agree, you know, as a member looking back when I’m younger, it’s like it is intimidating. Like, you know like, now as being older and being, you know, being a parent, you kind of look at things through different lens and it’s now good to go back and reflect as well, you know on what those situations may have been.

00:13:42 – Jack 

It’s so important that you learn the learner and the learner is both the athlete and the parent. Learn the learner. And know how they make decisions. It’s so important.

00:13:56 – Matt 


00:13:57 – Renata 

Yeah. And that’s I was just going to comment on that and the quickest path for a coach, who’s not been through this type of experience before, is to learn from other people on how they handled it or how they would handle it.


Or, you know, sometimes that’s not always the best way either, so they may go, okay, I’m not going to do that. But you know whether it’s a positive outcome or a negative outcome, it’s always a learning experience if it’s shared.


And I just, I just kind of wanted to make sure that we had that conversation because professional development is also, it’s not always technical, it’s also you know the other side of the business which is your communication and your relationships, so.


All right. Well, thank you guys very much. I wanted to end this with just saying again, if anybody has any questions and you’d like some information, please write us at info@yoursportsresource.com. Thanks everyone.