Tony DeMeo

Coaching Time Management Tips

One of the most underrated aspects of coaching is Time Management. It is important to organize your practices & meetings to maximize their efficiency. One principle that you should always remember: Work expands to the time allotted. In other words if you have 8 hours to complete a project, it will take 8 hours. But if you have only 6 hours, it will take 6 hours.

I had the opportunity to coach on Tubby Raymond’s staff in 1989. I was brought in to add the triple option to the Delaware Wing T but I got more from the experience than I gave them. Working with “Masters of the Game” like Tubby Raymond, Ted Kempski & Ed Maley was like going to football grad school. One of the most important thing I learned from Tubby was: Keep your staff fresh. We went home after practice. Tubby said if you have to meet for 12 twelve hours & stay until Midnight then find a new profession – sell insurance.

Being precise in your practice organization is also important and will keep your players fresh. Great practice organization also keeps your players attentive and engaged. Unless your players are practicing with awareness and effort, they will fall short of their potential.

These are tips for making the most of your time:

  1. Never meet to meet. Meetings can be a great time waster. I once worked on a staff that used to meet at 7AM to discuss what we were going to meet about at 9AM! Preparing practice is the most important meeting time.
  2. Grade every practice – know what needs to be emphasized & corrected.
  3. Always remember that your assistants have families, let them be fathers.
  4. Staying late into the night burns out coaches and saps their enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is caught not taught so it’s important that your coaches coach with enthusiasm so your players will play with enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Nothing great was ever accomplished without great enthusiasm”
  5. Keep practices to 2 hours or less. Short intense practices are far more effective than long marathon practices. Remember: your players will play like they practice.
  6. The more simple your schemes the more reps each scheme will get in practice. The more reps the more detailed the teaching. The more detailed the teaching, the higher level of execution.
  7. Players learn by doing not by listening. Giving a lecture on the practice field is a waste of time. Correct on the run.
  8. In preparing practice – use a technique checklist to make sure you hit all your “daily vitamins” and also use a situation check list to make sure all critical situations are practiced.
  9. Never scrimmage without a specific situation involved. Only practice what you use. Don’t add a play to add a play – teach your plays better.
  10. Video tape practices & make corrections prior to your next practice.
  11. Short intense practices add to the morale of the team & like Napoleon said “Morale is the strength of the army.”

These are some tips for keeping your staff and your players fresh and enthusiastic. Happy teams win, players that enjoy their experience perform at a higher level. Never leave your game on the practice field, keep practice intense, enthusiastic and on a very tight schedule.