Fall 2014 Blog – Post # 5
Sept 23 WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Goal setting is the topic this week. It may seem strange to see that topic a month or more into your season, but I placed this topic here for a reason. Most coaches and teams value and really enjoy the pre-season goal setting process. You may have a list of agreed upon “team” goals posted in your office as you read this. You also may have a folder full of individual goals set by each player on your roster, and in fact, you may have met individually to review those goals with your players. I’d like to challenge your thinking today, just as my own thinking was challenged years ago by a very experienced coach.
Effective goal setting takes time, and lots of it. I encourage you to carve out some time over the next week to ten days, to get together AGAIN with each player, even for ten minutes, and ask this simple question – Where are you now with your season goals? Re-visiting individual goals with your players can be another positive step in relationship building, and allows for revisions if necessary. Last week, I was encouraging communication from coaches to players in defining their roles. The degree to which those roles have been established could necessitate a few adjustments, so mid-season goal setting meetings allow for some productive conversation, and in most cases I think you will feel it was time well spent.
I would further suggest that within the next week or two, you need to facilitate a team discussion about those pre-determined season goals. The agenda for this meeting is simple – WHERE ARE WE NOW? Coaches – a word of advice. Often, the team needs your help in re-positioning where you are and from a team standpoint, what is still on the line for your program related to championship opportunities. New players don’t always know how play-off selection occurs, and I believe they need to know – maybe consider letting your seniors share this information. It was evident to me in most cases, that my seniors had this on their minds a lot. They wanted to go out in style. Hopefully within a week or two, as you and your team head down the home stretch of your regular season schedule, you will feel good about goals that remain meaningful for everyone in your program.
Finally, in looking ahead there is one more step for you to consider – the importance of scheduling one final round of individual meetings soon after the season ends. I recognize and remember the ever present time demands I felt as a coach, and these meetings once again take a lot of time to complete. I discovered there was no better way to send my players into their off-season than to look back before looking ahead. With your help, these final meetings allow players to grow in terms of setting realistic, achievable, and measureable goals.
In summary, by systematically promoting the idea of a series of goal setting meetings with individual players, you are building in a lot of one on one communication. By re-visiting team goals, it is more likely that you can keep everyone on the same page for the second half of your season. I like both of those factors.
Next week > Unexpected challenges