Establishing A Practice Philosophy For Your Program

Many coaches have a tendency to be impatient. It’s easy to get lost in everyday business matters. We want progress and results now. Although we might realize how important long-term development is, it can be difficult to implement it at times. Training planning takes place in cycles. The question is how can you discover and formulate your goals from a long-term perspective? Developing a club-wide training philosophy that all training groups and coaches accept and follow can get you off to a good start in bringing the development of your athletes and club to the forefront.

What benefits will be derived from this?

It will increase your training’s quality level.
Your athletes will undergo different quality levels of training and various stages of development. They will end up having several coaches over the long run. When I played youth football, over the years, I had around 10 coaches. Each of them had their own motivation and methods that they used. Also, an athlete’s personal motivation might change over time also. Given all of the changes that take place over the years, somewhere, someone really needs to have a clear overview of what takes place.

In many clubs, every couple of years coaches change as the kids continue to get older. A club-wide training philosophy can be your most essential tool in providing you with an overarching concept of what your methods and goals are. Having a shared strategy and vision helps with developing the kids in an informed and concise way. Getting all of your coaches on board to use a common training philosophy can also help them with planning their own training within the overall framework that has been provided.

Formulate your values and mission.
A major part of developing a club-wide philosophy is defining the mission and values of your club. What does your club stand for? What types of players is your club developing? Who are they and who should they be, both off and on the pitch? Is the focus of your club on more of the social aspect or are you trying to develop high performers and top talent?

What type of world does your club represent?
Having a well-defined club philosophy will allow you to answer all of these questions. It is like your club’s Bible and helps with defining your club, to the wider community as well as yourself.

If you know what you represent and who you are, you will have a much clearer idea of where you want to be in two, five and ten years. A training philosophy provides you with the inputs for predicting the outcomes of your club’s future development.

Removes the gray areas and gets everybody on the same page.
A club is comprised of coaches, players, teams, managers, parent and so forth. People come from various backgrounds. However, we are fighting for the same cause. That is what is so special about sports. There will invariably be differences in opinions, and this is something that your club philosophy can help to address. It removes the fog so that your managers and coaches can get everybody on the same page.

During times of uncertainty, having a well-developed club training philosophy can be something very valuable that you can turn to. For example, if you aren’t sure whether it should be the players or coaches that are responsible for the equipment you can define this and then add it as part of your training philosophy. It may be anything from an overarching idea to something small- the main goal you should have is getting everyone within your club aligned with the same guidelines and values. Gray areas can potentially take up a lot of time and cause you problems.

For a sustainable and long-term team or club development, you all need to be fighting for the same cause together.

Communicating with coaches and parents.
As previously discussed, training philosophy can help you with defining your club, your goals, your values and what you want to teach your players. However, it can’t just be a document for the manager or head coach. Instead, it needs to be a set of principles that is shared with the entire club. The key here is communication. Having an impressive document isn’t the magic key that will lead to success in and of itself. However, it can be if your entire club follows it.

It is especially true in larger clubs with coaches as well as with parents. Your message will be communicated by the philosophy in a holistic and clear way. If the key principles that you want to have followed are underlined, then parents will understand why you conduct training in a certain way without doubting every single thing that you do. It helps to create trust in the things that you do and also helps under active and over active parents contribute to the success of their children in the best ways possible.

Outlines codes of conduct and general guidelines.
In addition to understanding why your coaches and club do the things that they do, it also can be very beneficial to outline how you do things. It can apply to everyone involved with your club- athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, fans and the club itself.

Having a code of conduct as part of your club philosophy can be very helpful in dealing with things like the club not responding quickly enough to email, coaches not being as diligent as they should be or parents yelling at referees. Whatever rules you think can help you with moving towards your goals in better, faster and simpler ways should be considered as you are drafting your guidelines. It can be used to educate your club members and provide them with something they can refer to.

Conclusion
Whatever your most relevant reasons are for developing a club-wide training philosophy, it has been shown many times that having a common training philosophy for your club will provide you with many benefits and be very rewarding. It can be very successful for your club or team both on and off the pitch and be a very valuable part of your community. It isn’t merely a document. Instead, it clearly defines the spirit and mentality of your club.

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