As your season draws to a close, win or lose, you would have experienced some bumps along the way. Problem solving is an important process towards making the next season more successful, incident free and further developing you as a coach.
Many coaches endeavour to impart their knowledge and develop skills and introduce strategies to their players throughout the season. This is a huge task bringing together 10 to 12 players and the majority of the time they will have varying levels of ability.[member]
You also have personalities, egos, fitness levels, skill, commitment, etc to bring into the mix and you need to identify what each individual can bring to the table. When you evaluate your team at the end of the season it is important for you to seriously critique each of the player’s contribution to your team and if you believe they are the right fit for next season.
I’ll give you an example:
You have a player that looks the part, plays state or at a high performance level, has the respect of others yet you know she delivered very little. You also found out she didn’t practice her shooting or work on her fitness away from training. This player also cracked under pressure, spoke to very few people on court and at times asked to come off because she felt she wasn’t playing well.
This player speaks to very few at training and keeps to herself. She never completes a training session because her fitness level is poor. She cries at the end of a game if she received very little court time. She asks why another player is getting court time as they didn’t come to training this week and she did and only received a quarter.
OK. So they are a couple of examples of players that might have pushed you off course during the season and as an outcome impacted on your final result. This is where evaluation comes into it. Evaluate each player and if you build a culture within the team see if this player fits into the mould you would like for your team. It’s a lot like running a business. When you select staff you want hard working, highly motivated, positive people. A netball team has the same standards it just depends on who you employ to be your players. Teams can achieve so much but they all need to be on the same page, contribute equally, strive to be the best they can be do their homework and support each other on and off court.
When you do your evaluation, list what worked and what didn’t. What would you do better and how do you plan to improve? If there were problems then find solutions. If you can self evaluate as a coach you will become a better coach. You should never stop learning and improving from your previous season. A new team is like a blank canvas and your painting can be whatever you want it to be so when you sit and stare at that canvas know that you have researched what needs to be on it and your painting will look fantastic.