Being a head coach is the greatest job in the world. The crowds and energy of a Friday night is the stuff that dreams are made of. However, every head coach will also tell you that 99 percent of their time is spent on everything but X’s and O’s. In our previous article, we talked about the role of a head coach being the “connector” of the program. In this installment, we are going to focus on the role of the head coach as the “business man.”
Invest and ROI
As a head coach, we are essentially the CEO of a small corporation. In total, when counting all our stakeholders from players, parents, staff and community, the number of connections can reach over 200 people. Often the business side of running a successful program is overlooked and devalued. I am here to tell you that if we do not place a high importance on our program’s stock then we are missing an opportunity to get the very best out of the experience.
Like any publicly traded corporation, the goal is to raise your program’s stock and increase the number of investors. I am not speaking in monetary terms but something far more valuable such as time, support and emotional investment. The stock of a program can be raised in a multitude of ways ranging from on-field success to individual player experience. In the St. Charles North program, we have placed a premium on our players’ overall experience within the program. It’s the central mission of our program that each player be left with memories that will last a lifetime. More importantly, our parents must have an equally memorable experience as we are asking them to invest their most prized possession into our program. THEIR CHILD!
Never underestimate the investment a parent is making into you as a coach. It is a gigantic responsibility that cannot be taken lightly! Make the experience you give each person you come into contact with one that will solidify their decision to be a part of your program. An investor will only invest when there is a return on investment (ROI). The beauty of running a relationship-driven corporation is that this ROI can be received in a variety of ways. Experiences, friendships, support and scholarships are all great examples, but simply put, we must deliver a ROI that gives a connection to something bigger than the investment made.
A business without a sound business plan is going to struggle to make gains and never fully capitalize on their window of opportunity. Running a football program is not much different in terms of developing a strategic plan of progress. Strategic planning is not something that is lost on most coaches. We spend hours developing game plans each week. Meticulously breaking down opponents’ film, conducting meetings and tweaking practice plans so that we can have the right formula to crack the code of the week’s opponent. Trust me, I love it just as much as the next guy, but it’s imperative that we fall in love with developing our program’s long-term strategic plan with that same passion. While there are many ways to go about developing a plan, we have found the following system to be a sound foundational element at St. Charles North.