How to Set Objectives and Expectations for Your Program
Any sports program’s objective should be to build a team that thrives on the field, succeeds in the classroom, has a good influence on the community, and is prepared for success even after school. Every student-athlete in the program should be treated with decency and respect as well as be pushed to attain their full potential as an individual and as a team member.
Statement of Intent/Team Contracts/Personal Expectations
It is crucial to have a statement of intent, personal expectations, or a contract prepared before your season. This gives athletes a chance to see what standards they are going to be held to for their upcoming season so there are no misunderstandings or surprises. This allows not only individuals but the team as a whole to have goals.
A few ideas that could be included in a ‘Statement of Intent‘:
- Our program will develop strong, disciplined, cohesive, and fundamentally sound teams year after year, whose players will cherish their school experience and contribute back to the community.
- (Your School) will compete for Conference titles on a regular basis.
- Every year, we will qualify for state.
- A total team GPA of 3.0 or above will be achieved by the team.
- Half of the players on the team will be named academic all-conference.
- Our sport’s program will have a good impact on the neighborhood.
- We will be honorable student-athletes and strive to be leaders in the school.
A few ideas that could be included in a ‘Team Contract’:
- You must have at least a 2.7 overall GPA to compete in games/meets.
- Players are responsible for arriving to practice 10-15 minutes early fully dressed.
- Communication should be through email or All In.
- 24 Hour Rule – If a player or parent is concerned about something pertaining to a meet or practice, please take 24 hours before talking to a coach about it.
- Be Respectful – Teammates, Coaches, Opponents and Officials
- Coaches have the final say on what events players are in and play time.
A few ideas that could be included in a ‘Personal Expectations’:
- Positive Attitude – I will encourage my teammates and uplift them. I will talk highly of myself and my abilities during practices and meets. I will stay positive and optimistic. I can do anything I set my mind to.
- Keep Your Commitment – I will be on time and ready for practices and meets.
- Loyalty – I understand that my team depends on me and that I depend on them. We must work together to be successful. I will keep my commitment to myself and to my team to be consistent and work hard.
- Positive Influencer – I will keep my teammate accountable in practice, meets, and at school. I will encourage others to work hard and improve.
- Practice Like You Play – I will put in as much effort in practice as I would in a meet. I will keep myself accountable and try my hardest.
- Discipline Yourself – I will be kind and patient with myself. I understand that improvements take time and that great athletes are not built overnight.
Expectations for Coaches
Just as the team and individual players have expectations, it is important that the coaching staff does as well. This not only keeps the staff accountable to each other but with the players. A coaching contract shows your players that you are in this together. You are being held to a certain standard, just as they are.
A few ideas that could be included in a ‘Coaching Contract’:
- The coaching staff will inventory all equipment, discard obsolete equipment, and prepare equipment for reconditioning. The head coach and equipment manager will make the final decision on what new equipment will be acquired for the next season.
- Examine the facilities. What upgrades to our facilities are required? What changes or enhancements can we make to our current facilities?
- The head coach will meet with the AD to discuss the season and the program’s success. The head coach will offer a list of suggested program improvements/needs.
- Position coaches will meet with their players to review the previous season and the upcoming season (after goal setting).
- Season evaluation—weaknesses and strengths (coordinators complete season summaries)
- Educate yourself (attend a clinic, visit another football program, read, etc.)
Creating these contracts and expectations builds a sense of family. There are rules and goals that everyone has – everyone is on an equal playing field and held to the same standards. It allows for a sense of stableness and organization.