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Building a Strong Coaching Staff

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 05/17/17, 3:00PM EDT


Why having a united coaching staff can lead to success

There are many phrases that exist in the sports world about what it takes to create a successful team. While expressions like how a team is only as strong as its weakest link or that everyone has to pull equal weight are true, developing a strong coaching staff goes a lot deeper than that.

It is important to remember that every coach behind the bench serves a unique purpose on the team and each brings different viewpoints, ideas, experiences and perspectives that shouldn’t be wasted or ignored.

While it may seem useful to have each coach focus on a specific area of the game, it is extremely important to be familiar with all aspects of it. In practices, coaches can divide players into smaller groups to allow for more reps and then rotate between stations. This will also allow for a more focused approach and give the ability to pay attention to every player. Remember to reconvene at the end of practice and review any notes that may have come up.

Try and get the coaching staff together early in the season for off ice team building exercises. Build teamwork and communication early on. Remember that delivering the same message, whether it be to parents or players, saves from dealing with confusion from different answers. Schedule meetings at set intervals during the season to evaluate and review what’s happened to that point. Set goals you want for the team to reach and track their progress.

For the head coach, feedback is important to help improve your team. Coaches should feel comfortable sharing opinions with each other. Always keep the lines of communication open with the rest of your staff. Let them know what they’ve done, good or bad, and trust and value their opinions. Let them lead at the appropriate times and give them responsibility. It will make your job a whole lot easier by letting others take charge when needed.

If you are looking for any coaching resources, including coaching checklists and observation sheets, click here.

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