Coaching at Carnivals/Tournaments

| Posted inWeekly Blog

Coaching at Carnivals/Tournaments
It’s that time of the year when Clubs and Associations enter their teams in a day or weekend carnival.  The experience can be bitter sweet and requires some organisation before the event.
There are two major problems just waiting to destroy a great weekend – parents and disgruntled players.  How can you stop this from happening before your carnival campaign?
Firstly, write a plan for yourself.  Know your players and study the draw.  Allocate your players to matches and try to give everyone equal court time.  Remember this is a guide for you and not to be handed to players or discussed with players.
This rough draft is a starting point and can be changed as the weekend progresses.   There may be injuries or poor performances that may encourage you to make certain changes throughout the weekend.  Never promise anyone a game e.g. try not to say you will be going on at half time then you have decided against that and the player is upset and angry with you.  When the players are named say this is the team for the first half…….and this will enable you to either keep that line up or make changes.
Statistics tell a story.  Be sure to do shooting and game stats.  When players question you about their performance it is helpful to have their personal stats (you will find all stat sheets under coaching resources then drop down to work sheets).
Before the carnival begins have a parent meeting.  Share with them your goals for the weekend and this can be to perform all the skills and strategy work you have been doing at training.  Also help them understand it is a carnival and all players will be on the court.  Also they should be aware of appropriate sideline comments and be encouraging to the players.  Let all the parents know, if they do have a problem, that you would be happy to discuss it with them making sure it is not in front of the player concerned or the team.
Also before the carnival, preferably at a training session, talk to your players about behaviour.  Emphasise TEAM and share with them your thoughts on poor attitude, crying, gossiping and negative facial expressions.  Try to get this out in the open before the carnival and nip these little issues in the bud.
Small problems can be HUGE if not dealt with.  Have the courage to tackle these head on and be proactive leading up and including the carnival.  If you can finish the weekend with all the players happy and you enjoying your coaching experience, whether you win or not, you have done a fantastic job.
Written by
Melissa O’Brien