AAACE – Age, Ability, Attitude, Commitment and Experience

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AAACE – Age, Ability, Attitude, Commitment and Experience
In all team sports there are formulas used to find combinations and the main three  would be experience, ability and age.  I have heard the great Rugby League Coach Wayne Bennett speak of stars and workers.  The Stars need the Workers and vice versa.  A team wholly made up of stars or a team wholly made up of workers will have difficulty in succeeding.
Coaching is difficult and very few people take it on.  Your job starts from the selection of your team and how you select is very important.  Sometimes coaches are bound by selecting a team they do not select themselves.  There may be a few players in your team that you were told you had to take.  This might be ok at the time for management but for you, down the track, it can have a major effect on the outcome of your side.
So with this in mind have a very serious look at your selection process.  If you coach an open side there is a selection criteria for the level of competition you are in.  They are:
1. Age
2. Ability
3. Attitude
4. Commitment
5. Experience
Let’s turn this into an acronym ‘AAACE’.
Doing your homework before selection is a clever and proactive task.  Ask questions from previous coaches on how a player:
1. Behaves on the bench
2. Attentive in team talks
3. Works hard at trainings
4. Does what you ask on court
5. Gets on well with other players
6. Has a strong sense of ‘team’
I’m sure there are many other questions you may wish to ask.  Coaches usually are required to put together a report at the end of the season so you might wish to read the players profiles from the previous season.
If you are in a rebuilding stage you will need to mix youth with older, experienced players.  These older players need to be mentors with great attitudes and can read a game.  These older players also need to be accepting of the younger players as it can be a frustrating experience so lots of patience is required.
If you have started creating a culture you need to continue with this and strive to develop a team that has all the ‘AAACE’ qualities.
Sometimes coaching can be a humbling experience and all the work you have done with your players seems to go missing under pressure.  Remember, there is a formula you require so the team performs and most importantly you can be the best you can be.  The rest will follow.
Select wisely and your season will be enjoyable, win or lose.
Written by
Melissa O’Brien