by contributing partner Brian Smith, Head Coach – Lone Star Gymnastics Ft. Worth, Texas Find Brian on Twitter and Instagram @brianlonestar
This is the final part of the series and I want to encourage everyone to get a plan on paper, stick to the plan, work the plan, and then change it for the next season.
I decided to finish with mapping it all out because if you have stuck with me thus far that means you have a desire to be a GREAT coach. This makes me excited and I really want this sport to explode in size.
By now you are probably asking yourself how on earth you track all of this without losing your mind.
Believe it or not I track the whole year of planning on one sheet of paper. I personally use Excel to graph it all out and have a different row and color for each item that I track. For beginners I suggest you use excel and a calendar so that you have something to reference all year round. I will attach a file with the excel form that I use. To be honest I was given this form by a coach who I greatly respect in the community and I have modified it to work for me ever since.
What else can we track with this method of planning?
You can track conditioning intensity and type, routine reps, skill reps, medical checks, skill consistency check, meets, intensity, competition simulations, competitions, championships, camps, volume, and anything else that you can think of.
DO NOT be afraid to change your plan once you get in the middle of it. Teach to your plan and work to stay inside of it. I have to change my plan at least twice a year because something isn’t working out with a training group, injuries, or we simply had to change a meet. Things happen and how you adapt your plan to a situation shows you how committed you are as a coach. Plus you can look back and say “I messed up by doing this… I won’t do that again.”
I will do my best to write up some other things for you guys that involve weekly plans, how to keep the athletes interested in the “boring” parts of the year, and how to communicate your plans to your athletes, parents, and coaches.
This is how I do things and what works for me. I know people may have differing opinions but this works for me and I am constantly learning from past seasons, the mistakes that I have made, and from other coaches. I really hope that this helps someone become a better coach. If you need help don’t be afraid to ask. Additionally, please let me know if this works for you and what results come from your planning.