I saw this question in a coaching group online.

What are some of the first things you teach/review at the beginning of the season? Every season near the end I tell myself “I wish I would’ve gone over this sooner”.

To a degree, your coaching situation influences how you start each season. After all, it’s different working with a bunch of 12 year-olds than with a college team, for example. I think the one thing that should be consistent in all situations, however, is something brought up by a responder to the question.

Most talks center around willingness to experiment, searching for adjustments, going for it, being open to change … Just helping us get minds into a good place to learn and be good teammates.

Every team needs this sort of thing at the beginning of a new season. It’s basically setting the expectations and tone for things to come. It gives you a consistent point of reference moving forward. I’ve got a couple of posts related to this sort of thing:

The rest of it should be based on your specific needs. There are some different aspects to this. The post Creating a platform for a season plan provides something of a framework for this.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    2 replies to "What to go over at the start of the year"


      Question Sir. My situation is different as the club team is pretty much the team from last season. Five newbies, four athletes and me, the coach.
      I ask, because I come from a successful program. The club I’m joining with this team is successful as the top two teams in each age bracket qualifies for GJNC. So my priorities coming into season is different because what has worked in the past, worked. I mean I was successful and the team I will be coaching was successful.
      My question now becomes what direction should one go or lean to in this scenario?

      • John Forman

        Kelly – I don’t think this changes anything. Recall that my first priority with all teams in all situations was “…basically setting the expectations and tone for things to come.” In this case you might simply be reinforcing how the club does things, adding your own aspect.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.