Game Plan for Future Coaches

August 2017, 2nd edition, 105 pages, $21.95
ISBN 978-0-89641-567-6

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The purpose of this workbook is to guide future coaches through problems, issues, and situations that can occur while they are coaching an athletic team. Coaches who are experienced and successful will tell you that a team's success is not just the "X's and O's". The true success of a team is about the ability to develop character, teach fundamentals, advanced skills of the sport, and develop offensive and defensive game strategies. Another very important aspect of coaching is solving all of the problems, issues and situations that occur when a group of athletes are all striving for personal as well as team success.

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Emotional problems, issues and situations affect all athletes and their teammates if they are not taken care of in a firm but fair way. Consistency in decision-making is a very important part of the process. It has been said that a coach has to coach for five seasons before he/she will have a process and procedure to cope with all of the problems, issues and situations that can occur during a season The coach who can handle the problems issues and situations in a firm, fair and consistent way will have a cohesive team that respects you and their fellow teammates. This workbook will help you become aware of the different problems, issues, and situations that can occur during the length of a season. All of these cases are authentic and took place during the author’s 26 years as an Athletic Administrator.

There are six steps in the problem-solving process that every coach should follow when developing different solutions to problems, issues and situations.

  1. Notify your Athletic Administrator of the problem issue or situation and seek his advice.

  2. Gather all the information from both sides of the problem issue or situation. Until you have gathered all of the information from everyone involved, stay neutral in your decision-making.

  3. Develop a list of possible solutions and pick the one solution that best aligns itself with your coaching philosophy, training rules, and the schools code of conduct.

  4. Create a process and procedure for carrying out your solution. Inform your Athletic Administrator of your solution and be very selective as to who else you share your solution with. Always notify the parents of the athlete/athletes involved in the problem, issue or situation and how it will affect their son/daughter. This could be in the form of a meeting with all individuals involved, or a one-on-one discussion. Always have another supportive person present when you are discussing your solution.

  5. Evaluate your solution as to its effectiveness in solving the problem, issue or situation. If your solution is affective write it down for future use. If your solution is not affective, think of other ways to address the problem, issue or situation.

  6. Ask yourself if the problem, issue, or situation could have been prevented. If the answer is yes, decide what you would do differently so the problem, issue, or situation does not occur again.


  • Purpose
  • Problem-Solving Techniques
  • Definitions of Problems
  • Use of Questions
  • Questions for Case Studies

      Case # 1—The Blaming Team
      Case # 2—Athletes Commit Vandalism
      Case # 3—The Quarterback
      Case # 4—The Undercutting Player
      Case # 5—The Administrative Assistant
      Case # 6—The Drinking Coach
      Case # 7—The Friendly Coach
      Case # 8—The Mad Father
      Case # 9—Playing Time
      Case #10—Starting Line Up for Tennis
      Case #11—Injured Players
      Case #12—The Pregnant Player
      Case #13—Violence at the Hockey Game
      Case #14—The Summer fight
      Case #15—Junior Prom Blast
      Case #16—The Yelling Parents
      Case #17—The Abused Athlete
      Case #18—10th Grader Moves Up
      Case #19—The Cutter
      Case #20—Team Injuries
      Case #21—The Marijuana Smoker
      Case #22—Drug User
      Case #23—The Missing Athlete
      Case #24—Talented 7th Grade Athlete
      Case #25—The Unfriendly Custodian
      Case #26—Away Game Transportation
      Case #27—The Drained Pool
      Case #28—The Brothers
      Case #29—The Russian Players
      Case #30—The Third Year
      Case #31—Superintendent’s Child
      Case #32—The Missing Practice Rule
      Case #33—The Petition
      Case #34—Profane Language
      Case #35—Two Adult Siblings
      Case #36—Socialite Players
      Case #37—It Happens All of the Time
      Case #38—The Two Brothers
      Case #39—Modified B Soccer Game
      Case #40—Poor Team Selection
      Case #41—My Son
      Case #42—Young Guy soccer Coach
      Case #43—Lesbian Cheerleader
      Case #44—Hysterical Swimmer

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    Appendix: Guided Classroom Field Observation