The first season of #52WeekCoaching is a wrap. What started as a project to challenge my own ability to follow-through on personal objectives, transpired into an opportunity to share weekly stories about a variety of topics that occur throughout the course of a given year in coaching. Intentionally, the topics were prepared to align with a typical calendar year. But, beyond the realm of sports, this year of 2020 will be written in the history books as anything other than typical. Focused on what we can control, let’s keep moving forward.
52 Weeks of Coaching is about reflection, opportunity (gained and lost), and commitment to the craft.
Top 5 Things I’ve Learned During This Process:
- Aim small, hit small. Incremental objectives helped with the accumulation of productivity. I have become increasingly diligent with weekly planning and checklists to stay on task. This was a personal attempt to improve on the habit of persistence with the hope that it will contribute in other facets of my life (i.e. nutrition, physical activity, etc.). Setting short-term to-do-lists created a higher sense of urgency to get things done that helped in the long run.
- Putting the pieces together on a preferred style of play, system, and program organization. There are a variety of ways to catalog our year(s) in coaching. The application of weekly topics has challenged how I approach all facets of coaching on and off the court. There are still a lot of things that I have to improve and solidify; however, as I gain more experience I can sense a narrowed conceptualization of how I want to build a program and how I can best help my student-athletes develop.
- Social media vs. Storytelling. Despite the value of possible connections or collaboration, social media is not a room I enjoy being in for extended periods of time. It is, however, one of the best platforms to stimulate a conversation or raise awareness, which understandably has inherent value. There is just something different about an authentic story. Perspective is powerful and our contributors provided first-hand accounts detailing real variables from real situations in coaching. It is difficult to be contextually thorough when responding in 280 characters or less. Our objective is to provide a platform for real stories about real issues that any and every coach can turn into a learning opportunity.
- Improve in the uncomfortable. A couple of things here: (1) the topics that were the least popular or the most difficult to write discussed topics that seem least comfortable (e.g. “Back To School” or “Build The Locker Room”). This gives me the indication that of those pertaining topics I am still searching for the best possible approach. Admittedly, something I look to continue to work on is improving brand management. This is in reference to engaging community leaders, interacting with the grassroots coaches, or speaking with parents, family, or alumni. I’m not the most extroverted individual, therefore I have a tendency to struggle with perceived forced interaction. Subsequently, I have to improve my perspective of said interaction by shifting the approach from an obligation to an opportunity. (2) Piggybacking on the introverted personality; I do not solicit contributions. Every coach (except for one) that contributed was out of their own volition. We want the topics to be out of interest and enthusiasm, not because of convincing. This will likely not change, however, I do feel that our contributors gained something from the experience and that there are so many other coaches out there with great stories to be heard. So while our focus on authenticity will not change, increasing the number of invitations could provide the coaching community with more learning opportunities.
- 1% of Coaching. 52 Weeks of Coaching is about a year of connecting, planning, and executing. With topics in mind, what I found is scheme or highlights are most impressionable. As someone looking to cater to the majority, it can be conflicting because I love a great ATO as much as the next coach. However, I am apt to believe that legends in coaching weren’t always the best play-callers as opposed to their ability to cultivate a culture, lead a locker room of distinct personalities, or develop a rising staff to become future head coaches. So, while our stories are not always full of digital playbooks, I do understand there is a proclivity towards visual learning that could help engage the coaching community.
Hopefully, this is something that can continue moving forward. I am always looking to improve the experience – contributor or reader – with considerations of the following:
- More coaches contributing
- Increase the number of “Open” topics
- Better organization of category of topics (improving accessibility)
- Possibly adding video component (i.e. film breakdown or inside looks)
All in an effort to optimize the learning experience, connection, and engagement of the coaching community. None of this is possible and I am truly grateful to these 14 coaches that were outstanding contributing to 23 different topics! Be sure to follow all of those coaches as they do a great job with their respective programs and providing content of their own on social media and/or website.
Keep an eye out for something becoming available soon for an all-access copy of #52WeekCoaching. And as always, if anyone has questions or thoughts related to coaching or contributing please reach out to Coach’s Climb and hope everyone has a safe/happy summer!
Coach Stefan Giegucz who contributed to #RamblingCulture
Coach Elyse Rowland-Bauman who contributed to being #MarriedToCoach
Coach William Flow who contributed to #CoachesBookshelf
Coach Matt Jones who contributed to #YouthDevelopment
Coach Sidy Sall who contributed to #SkillDevelopment
Coach Dymetrius Ware who contributed to #WhyZone
Coach Austin Kidd who contributed to #FilmBreakdown
Coach Austin McBeth who contributed to #FilmBreakdown
Coach Clare Fitzpatrick who contributed to #SeasonPartOne
Coach Nick Molz who contributed to #FinalFour