One of the key elements to success in coaching is communication. Everyone likes to feel that they are a part of the decision making process and are valued by the head coach. In today’s world we have text messages, e mail and other various sorts of communicating with one another. But there is still no better way to talk than a face to face meeting. Staff meetings are critical to the success of the head coach and his program.
Here are some tips on handling staff meetings and making them professional.
- Always announce the meeting as far in advance as possible. Make sure that you get the word out to everyone you want at the meeting. Do not depend on one coach to tell the others. If the meeting is about a specific subject, let the staff know that so they might prepare. Let everyone know exactly how long the meeting is expected to last.
- Have your meeting in a secure office area where you will not be interrupted.
- Have a cell phone policy for meetings and occasionally remind the staff of the policy.
- Always start the meeting on time. Be respectful of the members of your staff that arrived promptly.
- It’s fine to have a few refreshments at the meeting. This little perk will always be received well and helps to set a positive tone for the meeting.
- It is important to have a specific agenda for the meeting. It is always best to have it written if possible, particularly if their are several different items to be discussed. Make copies and give to each staff member. They may choose to take notes on the agendas.
- On each agenda item, give the staff members the pertinent information and then allow some time for discussion. It is okay for the head coach to ask certain staff members for their opinion if he feels they may have an important view point.
- Keep the meeting moving, not allowing one agenda item to dominate the time. If a decision needs to be made, the head coach should make the decision or table it to a later time.
- If it is a personnel meeting, do not allow coaches to speak loudly where others on the outside might hear.
- Keep strategy topics moving and don’t allow members of your staff to bicker. It is the job of the head coach to keep the meeting professional. But sooner or later, the head coach or the coordinator must make a decision so the staff can move on to the next issue.
- If the meeting is going to be a long one, consider taking a break in the middle of it.
- End the meeting on time. The time of a coach on your staff is very precious, especially during the season. If you know when the next meeting will be held, give everyone that information before they leave.
- Avoid having meetings after practice, including watching practice video. With Hudl, they can watch that film at home. If you feel the need to meet, make it brief. Make an effort to get your coaches home to their families as soon as possible. They will repay you with good work the following day.
- Avoid criticizing the entire staff or the guilty party in front of everyone if one member has caused a problem. Deal with that staff member in private. It is good policy however to praise a staff member in front of the group.
Finally, the head coach may want to follow up with individual members of the staff later. They may want to offer some insights after having some time to think or share something one to one that they did not feel comfortable saying with the group.