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Coaches: Get Your Team Organized Before the Season Starts

Article from TeamSnap

Coaching can often be a stressful job, and never is that stress more prominent than at the beginning of a new season. A new season means lots of new names to learn, schedules to adjust and new responsibilities to take on. Sometimes it's enough to make you ask, "Why bother!?" But of course, the answer is simple: you do it for the kids.

Go into this season with the right attitude from the get-go. We've compiled some tips from our hundreds of thousands of coaches on how to ensure your season gets off on the right foot.

1. Let technology make your job easier
Thankfully, most people are now comfortable with email and text as the primary method of communication for team info, which can dramatically speed up the job of a coach. However, there are other ways to make your job easier as well. Team management tools automate a lot of time-consuming tasks. In addition to letting you create, update and store a team roster, tools like TeamSnap let you see players' availability for games and practices, assign snack duties and keep track of who has paid their registration or uniform fees.

2. Get a leg up on preparation.
Beginning a new season can be truly daunting - new players, new parents, new schedules, and the list goes on. Do yourself a favor and start preparing well in advance of the first practice. Create a list of everything you can think of that will need to be done and think about what you'll handle personally and what your assistant coach or team manager will handle, then delegate those responsibilities. Start learning names and faces early to make things easier once practices start (some team management apps even allow you to upload photos to the roster to help speed up the process). Start planning practices and putting together a list of drills a few weeks in advance. By managing what you can ahead of time, you won't be so overwhelmed when things start to pop up when the season starts (and you know they will!).

3. Strongly encourage volunteers
Now that you have your list of jobs, it's time to "strongly encourage" people to volunteer. Many coaches and team managers simply email the list of jobs out and hope parents sign up. Although everyone means well, we all know that email will sit, unread, in the inbox as parents hope someone else volunteers for team duties. This inevitably puts the coach in the position of resident nudge. Consider having a preseason team BBQ or picnic and have your list ready. This serves two purposes: you let parents and players get acquainted or reacquainted in a fun setting off the field, and you can make sure every volunteer job is filled before the end of the event. Leave the email for reminders, not sign-ups.

For more tips on making the most of your sporting life, check out the TeamSnap blog and podcast.

About the Author: TeamSnap takes every aspect of sports team organization, simplifies it and makes it available for everyone with an online management tool. Coach smarter, not harder.

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