Welcome back for the 2014-15 school year

Author: Jerry Reeder, Assistant Director, Coach Education


If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself “Where did the summer go?” It’s late August, fall sports have been practicing for a few weeks, classes have started, your first football game is this Friday, and your cell phone is going crazy! As a former high school athletic director, I have a great appreciation for what you do and how you do it. The days are long, the nights are short, and the pressure to perform a variety of tasks is never ending.

By this time, you’ve likely identified the two types of coaches you have in your sport programs: master coaches and high-maintenance coaches. The master coach is a pleasure to work with; these coaches manage their programs effectively and provide a great sport experience for their athletes. On the other hand, you spend a great deal of time mopping up after the high-maintenance coach, putting out fires he or she started, and perhaps even running the entire program.

As a Human Kinetics Coach Education instructor, you likely know where I am heading with this. If professional development opportunities don’t solve the issue, you probably have a coach who needs to seek a different profession. But before you go to the extreme of dismissing a coach, let me give you a few helpful ideas that worked for me when it came to providing professional development for high-maintenance coaches.

My first step was to require all of my coaches to attend and complete the Coaching Principles classroom course, taught by me. The state in which I worked did not require licensed faculty to complete the coaching requirements that were established by the state association. But our school district board of education supported our athletic policy requiring all coaches, regardless of education or experience, to complete both Coaching Principles and Sport First Aid. The training I provided set a firm foundation for our program and greatly reduced the number of high-maintenance coaches I had to deal with.

The second step was to provide additional professional development opportunities in specific areas that were trouble spots for individual coaches. For example, I might require a coach having difficulty managing his time to complete the activities in Unit 3 (Principles of Management) in the Coaching Principles online study guide and then write a summary of the unit including his plan to improve his management skills. This assignment quickly revealed which coaches had a desire to improve their skills and which needed to move on and find another way to spend their free time.

I am entering my 41st year in the coaching profession and my 15th year as a member of the Human Kinetics Coach Education team. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do enjoy sharing my experience with sport administrators and coaches. My role at HK is to serve you and your coaches to the best of my ability. Give me a call or shoot me an e-mail and let me know how I can help ease your coach education and certification burden and make your 2014-15 sport year the best year ever!

To order classroom course packages for upcoming coaching clinics, please contact Human Kinetics Coach Education at 800-747-4457, ext. 2980 or e-mail orders@hkusa.com.

Yours in coaching,