Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Post-Season Checklist

Posted by admin November - 19 - 2018 - Monday

I like to divide up the calendar year by “seasons.” For instance, there is post-season and then there’s off-season. I think there’s a difference. There are things a HC needs to “clean up” once the regular season (IN-season) is over. These need to occur as soon as the last game as possible. Once they’re completed, then… you can start focusing on the long haul of the OFF-season! I want to give you a list of things that you should consider doing in the post-season.

1- EQUIPMENT. Get it collected, cleaned and stored. Pull out the equipment that will be going to the Reconditioner and complete your inventory. Based on the inventory that you make (and probably submit to your AD), you can begin to make your “wish list” for items that you’d like to have purchased for next year. Let your staff know that they are expected to help in doing this. Once again, as I’ve discussed many times, don’t be a micromanager. Solicit the help of your assistant coaches. Include it in the job description for assistants so there’s no dispute over who has to help!

2- STAFF DINNER. On the day that our staff completed the clean-up and inventory, I took the staff out to dinner. It was an opportunity for me to say “Thanks!” to my staff for their hard work over the last 4-6 months. If there is money available to do it, take them to a steak house. If not, have them over to your house and prepare a meal for them there. It’s a small thing but it shows your appreciation to the assistants. It’s also a time to reflect back on the season; hopefully have a few laughs and give a toast — do something where you express your thanks to them.

3- STAFF EVALUATIONS. Call in each assistant individually and go over your evaluation of the job they did this season. There are checklists you can find online or simply write up a summary for each. Include things they did well and… things they need to work on. Phrasing it that way (“things you need to work or improve on”) presents a more positive picture than “things that you did that I didn’t like” or “things you did wrong.” There may have to be a “stipulation” attached to it. “If this doesn’t improve next year, we will probably have to let you go.” Let that coach know that you are there to help him improve. Don’t leave him flapping in the breeze. You hired him; so do your part as the leader of your staff to help him improve!

4- ADMIN EVALUATION. If your AD doesn’t do it, you need to ask him/her to do a written evaluation of the job that YOU did this season. Again, in writing. You need to know where you stand with your AD and the job that he/she thought you did. Keep it in your records file.
The same thing goes for your Principal. You should ask for a meeting at his/her earliest convenience and talk about the season. Ask him/her what you can do to improve.

5- GETAWAY WEEKEND… with your spouse/partner or just by yourself! Get away from football! I used to take my wife to the Outer Banks of NC for a weekend. It was a chance for me to decompress but also a chance to lavish a lot of attention on HER! I have an amazing “coaches wife!” Especially since she’s not a big football fan. But she was a “Lew J. Fan” and she was always there to support me. It was only right that I’d take a weekend to get away with her and get reacquainted!!!

6- BANQUET. I’ve talked about this activity before so I won’t go into detail. If your school/AD doesn’t have this, contact some Moms and ask for their help. They love doing things for their sons. “Sell” it to them in that manner. Yes, they’re helping you. But… they’re doing it for their son! You can hold a nice function right in the school cafeteria. It doesn’t have to be elaborate but it needs to be done. Your players deserve it.

I think of November/December as “post-season.” It’s a time to wrap things up and close things down for 4 weeks. Some coaches simply never stop. It becomes a chore and a burden. Kids today aren’t as sold on the grind as they might’ve been at one time. I wouldn’t even open the weight room till January— and then that month is for introducing lifts, getting preliminary maxes and emphasizing SAFETY in the weight room. February through July is plenty of time to conduct your OFF-season strength/speed/agility program. Don’t drive kids away from your program by being overly ambitious about getting them into the weight room right after the season ends. Everyone needs some time away.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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