According to dictionary.com the definition of a system is as follows:
–noun 1. an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole.
Have you ever wondered how a good cook can take a good recipe and tweak it to make a GREAT recipe? Take pizza for example: We all like pizza but there is one person or one pizza place that just makes the BEST pizza you have ever had!
Have you ever wondered why/how that pizza is so good? Well the answer is simple they have a system and they plug the right things into the system to get an amazing result – the pizza you LOVE! A recipe is a system and a great cook can take a basic system such as:
and make it into the most complex whole pizza you have ever tasted by plugging an assemblage or combination of things or parts into each category.
Good cooks can take that basic system or recipe and plug in the ingredients they know will get them the results they are looking for. The same goes for a good coaches.
Every successful coach, no matter the sport or level, has a system. The system dictates how a practice/workout is run, what is expected and has specific goals. Your system is your road map and will help you take your team where they want to go. A system will guide your team to success.
How do you measure success? Wins and losses, points scored and points against. None of the traditional measuring practices actually allow your staff, or players to truly evaluate success, tweak the system when needed, and remeasure. Scores and wins are not always indicative of success, and are outside of the realm an athlete or coach can control. How can you measure success without a system.
If performance improves, injury rates decrease, and the players are becoming a cohesive unit under one system, but the team still performs poorly in the win/lose column is that still considered successful? What do you think?
Your system is your measuring tool. Without a system you will have very few avenues for measuring success. Then you will probably revert back to the score board as your measuring tool.
If you don’t have a system of training you HAVE to develop one. To get started, look to another coach to see how they do it, and then look to another and then look to another to really get an idea of how you want to develop your system. Make sure it fits your philosophy and it is adaptable. Go to visit another coach. This might allow you to pick up some new exercises, tips and cues that you might be able to implement into your program. Please remember the new things that you see and pick up have to fit within your system.
As a coach I have a system that measures the players improvement as well as my improvement. True reflection is important. Get feedback from the parents and players also.
As far as successful coaching is concerned I look at this criteria the most. How much social awareness have my players gained. Will they be part of the solution not part of the problem when they leave. At the end of the day, very few of them will make money playing their sport, and even if they do, if they leave a more responsible, confident, “better” human being than when they arrived, and my program had anything to do with that, I view my time with them as successful.