Coaches are the backbone of any sports camp. Without them, there is no camp and no training. The hiring process is where it all begins and there are some things that should definitely be done.
After receiving applications for the coaching positions, the interview process will help weed them out and hopefully give you a good handful to finalize your choices from. But before doing that, the next step is to run a background check on each one of them. Whether your camp is for youth or adults, you cannot take the risk or the liability of having a coach that may be on the sex offender registry or have a criminal history. A good site to check for the background history of a potential coach for things that could preclude them from being on your team is www.criminaldatabase.org.
Coaching your coaches is one of the most crucial parts of running a great sports camp. Here are some ways to help your staff learn, understand, and buy in to your system of how how your camp is run and how you want them to coach.
Get them involved in the process
Get your staff involved in the creative process. Buy in is so much easier when everyone (key coaches) feels like they are and will be part of creating and implementing the process. Teach it to them like a teacher would. So often we forget that our coaches often learn best by doing not just listening. Have them stand up, go through the motions as a player and a coach.
Train the coaches
Put them through a physical training camp to ensure that they are all in physical condition to be able to coach others. It’s not just about what they know and the skills they can teach. They should be able to demonstrate and train right alongside their campers. Training your coaches will help get them in ready for a challenging time.
Start early with coaching real-time practice. We will be out on the field very soon practicing how calls will be made and what happens in between. Coach you coaches on exactly what you want to see done at certain times and in specific situations.
Sweat the Small Stuff
If you don’t discuss it, chances are it won’t happen. Be very specific with coaches about where and what you want and how you want it done. Once they know that information and how to put it into practice, they will then start to think like you. They will find ways to make the things work even better within the system.
Once things are in place give the coaches some latitude. Step back and let them run their training and then have a debriefing session after that. Nothing teaches better than raw experiences so build those into your camp plans.