As the early season begins, your focus is on your team becoming the best it can be. But we often define team as players and coaches. In reality there are more members that are involved with your success. People like the Athletic Director, athletic training staff, and the booster club are crucial members to have on your side. I was fortunate to have great relationships with all three, but if any went sour I’m not sure our team would have been as successful.
This person a coach has to please the most. Your boss and your keys to the school’s riches. You need to be on his/her good side as much possible. Always be in close communication with your AD. If you think they will hear something, be the first one to them to give them a heads up. No one likes getting blindsided. Invite them to your practice or off field events to continue to build that relationship. This is the most important person to please and I sense if you keep your program under control, the AD will have other issues to handle which will keep you and your program in a positive light.
These are the angels that roam your sidelines. A lot is requested of these individuals. They handle a large number of teenagers at one time and they are expected to get all of them healthy ASAP. Yes they give us news and diagnosis we don’t want to hear, but it’s not their fault. They are doing their job like everyone else, but theirs I perceive to be more stressful as their call deals with the well-being of a child. Listen to their direction and follow their rules. Ensure your athletes are respectful in the training room and to the training staff. Establish a good rapport and they will take good care of your athletes. Maybe even some Gatorade in those water bottles for playoffs.
Lastly, but not least is the booster club. This group of parents cares deeply for the kids on your team and should be there to support the needs of the program. You need them and their commitment to the organization to fill in the gaps that the school doesn’t cover. Frankly, as a lacrosse team we look for a lot of support from the boosters since we typically are not as well established in the school budget. Attend their meetings and listen to their concerns and ideas. You don’t have to implement everything, but showing your support and cooperation will go a long way. In the end of the day you both want the same thing, a successful program for the kids.