To be successful, a youth sports club’s Director of Coaching has to master the ability to multi-task. Directors need to plan and run tryouts, attend clinics, hire and train coaches, create evaluation processes, and still find time to attend games and monitor athlete development.
DOCs have the pressure of making sure the club succeeds under great coaching that allows athletes to develop their skills and enhance their knowledge of the game. A lot goes into making sure those things happen.
Take a look at some roles a youth sports club’s Director of Coaching should fulfill to help the organization succeed.
Educate and Train Coaching Staff
One of the Director of Coaching’s main jobs is to educate and train the club’s coaching staff. The DOC is charged with ensuring the coaches are teaching athletes with the right training methods while following the league rules and club strategies. To make sure coaches are prepared, directors can bring in referees and officials to educate coaches on the rules and regulations surrounding the sport. They can also invite regional or national coaches to run clinics and seminars on coaching techniques and skills. The DOC can ask nutritionists, trainers, and medical personnel to review safety procedures and provide coaches with health and fitness tips to ensure coaches are prepared for emergencies and other health issues that might arise in athletes.
Staff Recruitment and Assignment
The DOC is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and assigning coaches to teams. When finding coaches, directors should make sure the coach can commit the necessary amount of time to the squad and the athletes. He or she should also be able to carry out the mission, vision, and values of the club and adhere to the code of conduct. The DOC should follow risk management procedures when appointing new coaches to make sure background checks and other due diligence are performed.
Create Seasonal and Long-Term plans
The Director of Coaching is tasked with developing the club’s competitive strategy. He or she will also outline how the athletes should be trained and what skills should be focused on that season.
Develop Code of Conduct
The DOC should create the club’s code of conduct for coaches, players, and parents to follow. He or she should seek guidance from the Board of Directors to ensure the organization’s overall vision is accounted for in the document.
In addition to training coaches, directors are also responsible for ensuring athletes are developing their talents. The DOC should organize clinics and camps to improve athlete skills and monitor player progression. When applicable, Directors of Coaching should advise athletes of playing opportunities beyond the club at the regional, national, or collegiate level.
Attend Coaching Clinics, Seminars
To stay updated on the latest best practices, rules, and regulations in the sport, Directors of Coaching should attend local, regional, and national clinics and seminars. This will present the DOC with new ideas for how to train on specific skills and gain new competitive strategies.
Design and Administer Tryouts
One of the largest tasks a DOC has each season is planning and administering team tryouts. Working with a committee, the director needs to establish tryout dates, times, and locations. He or she also has to determine a communications plan for how to promote the tryouts, distribute registration information, and advise players and parents of any news surrounding evaluations. To run a successful tryout, the director also needs to determine what skills to test, what drills to run, what scoring system to use to grade the players, and what process to follow for forming teams. He or she also needs to secure and prepare staff for the day, including volunteers for registration and evaluators to score the players. If the club is using player evaluation software, he or she should also ensure the application is set up and staff is trained on how to use it. Here are some tips on how to survive tryouts.
Create a Player and Coach Evaluation Process
Directors are responsible for establishing a player and coach evaluation process. It’s important for clubs to gain feedback from players on the performance and effectiveness of coaches. It’s also crucial for the development of athletes for coaches to conduct regular evaluations of their skills. Directors can create the forms and criteria coaches and players are evaluated on, as well as how often the evaluations are done and how they are distributed and collected. Click here for tips on how to set your evaluation criteria. For teams using player evaluation software, the evaluation forms can be created, sent, collected and stored within the application.
Work with the Board of Directors
The Director of Coaching needs to report to the Board of Directors on the status of the teams, coaches and players, and inform them of any club activities and needs. He or she should also work with board members on marketing and communication efforts around the teams and should accompany the club’s president to key local events that could help promote the organization and recruit participants.