How to tell if your season has been a success
So, the season’s at an end. As a coach, should you be celebrating or commiserating? Well, there’s more than one way to define success. For a balanced view of your achievements, ask yourself these five questions.
1. Has your team developed as a group?
Coaches often define success by league positions and trophies. But there are other ways to do it.
Has your group put training ideas into action in games? Are they happy to have equal playing time? Do your players take ownership of tasks like the warm-up and arrival activities? Are friendships starting to form?
Answer yes to any of these questions, and your team’s been developing in a way that's more subtle than matchday wins.
2. Have individual players progressed?
Think about the development of every player in your squad.
For each person, ask yourself what they were like in the first training session of the season. Consider how they’ve progressed across the four corners of player development: technical and tactical, physical, psychological, and social.
Remember, for some players, increased confidence and willingness to communicate is a huge success in itself.
3. Have you improved as a coach?
Turn the spotlight on yourself. Have you tried anything different with your coaching over the last nine months? This might be something that you identified on an FA course, through feedback from others, or from your own reflections.
It’s a long journey to change your coaching philosophy and approach. Any positive tweaks across the course of the season should be seen as a success.
4. Has your communication with parents improved?
Performance goes beyond the pitch. Think about how you interact with the parents who are involved in your club.
What work have you done to make your relationships with them more positive? Have you shared your playing and coaching philosophy? Have you involved them in any decisions? Or in training on matchday?
Time spent strengthening relationships with anyone involved with the club is an achievement worth recognising.
5. Do you have a plan in place for next season?
It’s tough to reflect objectively on what’s happened without clear targets to review against.
Make sure that this isn’t the case next year by setting your goals for the upcoming season now. Use the questions we’ve just gone through as a starting point.
Remember, there are many ways to define success. What do you want to ‘win at’ next year?