Definition: Sports. The overall strategy of a team for winning a specific game.
Going to the dictionary for a definition seems to explain exactly what a phrase or word means. So let’s take ‘Game Plan’. This is a phrase commonly used before, during and after sporting success. Actually I have heard it mentioned many times during the ANZ Championship if a team isn’t travelling so well with comments like ‘we didn’t stick to our Game Plan’ or ‘we need to keep focused on our Game Plan’ etc.
How many coaches out there actually have a Game Plan? In the dictionary it describes a Game Plan as specific to each opponent. This would mean you as a coach would have to do some homework as to how the opposition plays individually and collectively. You would then have to come up with some strategies to counteract them.
You can video the opposition or track them on paper. Make notes and establish strengths and weaknesses. Look for set moves and court systems. There is so much information to be gathered when researching your opposition and it will take your coaching to another level to be able to use that information to strengthen your own team.
Never lose sight of your own team’s strategies and continue to work with your players to have your own Game Plan which incorporates your team as well as using the research you have gathered on the opposition. When coaching, remain positive and give your players the confidence to outplay the opposition. Try not to talk them up and never make beating them unachievable. Your job as a coach is to give your players information to hit the court and be able to use that knowledge to their advantage. I have heard many team talks with the coach pointing out how good the opposition is – game over. Respect yes but not a feeling of despair from the coach before the game has even started.
As I move around from one team to another, mentoring many coaches, I have not heard once the phrase ‘Game Plan’ nor have I witnessed a ‘Game Plan’. Just imagine how much fun coaching would be if you actually had a ‘Game Plan’. Now that’s what I call preparation and the saying ‘you attend to the processes and the processes attend to themselves’ in other words, a ‘Game Plan’ is part of the process which can only mean a positive outcome – winning!