Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Coach's Question

Recently a coach of a junior team contacted me for some advice re. the restructuring of the team. Two of its original members have teamed up with two from a team that was in its competitive environment. It seems that all the members of the new team are willing to play whatever position is in the best interests of the team. Basically the coach wants to know how to go about that task. Earlier today the coach has called me for a voice-to-voice on this matter.

The very fact that the team members are willing to play any position is a good thing. There appears to be no "princess" on the team from the coach's description. Certainly a thorough examination of the demands and responsibilities of each position needs to be undertaken. That just may change the willingness of a member of the team to play a particular position so that exercise is vital in my view. The players may "think" they know what it takes to play lead, second, third or skip but when all the cards are placed on the table, that may change.

A thorough assessment of the skills and experiences of each team member is the next order of business. It's at this time that I hope the team will "think outside the box" and given the exchange of emails between the coach and yours truly, I know that will happen. I call it the "division of labour". Gone are the days when each team member played a position and assumed the traditional responsibilities and demands. We have more and more teams for example who make use of each player's unique skill set by having the person responsible for strategy and tactics not necessarily deliver the last two stones of the end.

I will suggest that each player put fingers to keyboard to describe what he/she brings to the table based upon perceived skills (strong & weak), experiences and hopes & aspirations.

It's at this point you marry steps one and two. In an ideal world, it's obvious the positions each person should play from those reviews. There may have to be some tweaking, juggling and compromising but generally it will sort itself out and least to the point that the team can begin to see itself within a structure.

I would hope that the coach would approach this exercise in such a way as to provide the team with a launch pad but knowing full well that as the journey progresses, changes may have to be made.

Although the coach's emails did not refer to a yearly training plan (YPT) per se, it clearly must be on the order paper as this team has competitive aspirations such that it's going to be a full time occupation from time to time. As coach I'd need to know exactly how committed the team is to the goals it sets for itself. Hmm, goal setting, there's another topic altogether.

Lastly, there's the stakeholders (aka parents). These are young juniors so parents will play a role in all of this and the nature of that role can be uplifting and supportive or ... well, you can fill in the remainder of this sentence I'm sure. A meeting with the parent group must be near the top of the order paper. That too will be a topic of another blog at some point.

I applaud this coach for the obvious care he has demonstrated in his emails. As I like to say, "They don't care how much you know until they know who much you care!" This coach cares deeply about his athletes!

No comments:

Post a Comment