Efficient organizations are set up with internal processes that make life easier. Everything set up within your team or your organization should be done so with that in mind. There are enough obstacles to overcome externally without having to overcome the inefficiency of your own internal structure. It can be very frustrating to have to overcome your own organization when you are trying to have success.
As a coach it’s important to look out for internal situations that are actually making it harder for your team to succeed. Sometimes they are hard to spot unless you are really willing to self-evaluate and take a close look.
Recruiting is the lifeblood of any college athletics program, and an area where significant time and energy is placed. Recruiting is also an area where assistant coaches can make their mark and develop a reputation that will allow them to advance in the business. So recruiting jealousy comes up often. Instead of everyone just working to make sure your team gets a recruit, assistants are more concerned with who is doing the recruiting and who will get the credit. They want to be seen as the lead recruiter on the best players, and that can skew their evaluations at times. They are more likely to want to sign the guys that they are recruiting, rather than honestly evaluating ability and skill set. Without realizing it, the way you handle recruiting can actually get in the way of recruiting effectively.
Another area where your internal process can hurt you is scouting. We all want our teams to be prepared and to learn as much as possible about our opponent, but that can lead to overkill. Many teams spend way to much time worrying about their opponents and not enough time on themselves. Often we don’t account for how much information the players can actually retain and execute in a game setting. Too much information can get your players thinking too much on the court, and paralyze them instead of allowing them to freely make plays. There are a lot of different views on game preparation and how much scouting is enough, but most coaches tend to overdo it. However you decide to handle scouting, take a close look at how effective it is for you. It’s another place where the process you use internally can actually hinder your progress.
A lot of organizations don’t get the most out of their support staff. As a head coach it’s important to empower your assistants – as well as your players – to help you. So many head coaches have a dominant personality and want the people around them to agree with them because it makes them comfortable. So they set a tone where the staff and the players don’t want to disagree with them, and it stifles their ability to help. It’s very tough to see this at times as the leader of an organization, so you really have to take a hard look at how you handle this to notice it. I’ve found myself in this situation many times as a head coach, where the tone I am setting effects the staff and the players in a way that doesn’t allow them to be themselves. If you don’t make it a point to evaluate how the people around you are helping you, you can really hurt your team’s overall effectiveness. Your approach to your staff is another way that an internal process might be hurting you.
It can be extremely frustrating to have to deal with an internal process that is working against you. External obstacles need to be recognized and overcome, that is expected. But internal obstacles simply shouldn’t exist. Everyone needs to be doing everything they can to help your team move forward.
As the head coach you need to evaluate the internal processes in your program constantly. There are probably some areas where you are hurting yourself and you might not realize it. The beauty of it is that these are things you can easily change, if you are willing. Your team will face enough obstacles that you can’t control, taking a close look at how you handle the things you can control will make your organization more effective.