I always like to pass on a good book when I run across one and "The Coach's Season" by Jason Fry is excellent. My first thought is that a young coach just starting out in the business or a coach who just grabbed their first head coaching gig would find this an amazing resource. But it's also invaluable for the veteran coach who is always looking to improve their program or take it to another level. I would add that while this is a must-have for high school coaches, there is great information to benefit coaches at other levels from junior high school to college.
The structure of the book is unique in that Jason interviewed over 100 of the best high school coaches in the country to get an amazing variety of answers to key questions.
This is the first section of the book with Q&A's with 34 high school coaches. Here are just some of the sample questions that are asked of the coaches:
How do you balance family with team life during the season?
What advice do you have for a first- or second-year coach?
What did your pre-season preparation look like with your staff?
What are three responsibilities you have given your assistants?
What is one thing you do differently from others?
Again, the reader is getting answers to these questions from the best of the best.
The second section has a list of Q&A's from 30 outstanding high school coaches. These questions have a lot to do with preparation and game organization:
How are you incorporating player development in the season?
What adjustments do you make at halftime?
What are roles do your assistants have in practice as well as games?
What is one thing a coach can do to...
...learn each day?
...grow their feeder systems?
An example of a great question in this section is "What do you do during the month of January to improve team morale and keep spirits high?" Legendary coach Don Showalter responded with these gems:
--Cut practice time to an hour and a half or even an hour as January progresses
--Take a practice or two and play whiffle ball or dodge ball for the last 30 minutes
--Allow your players to plan a practice session and have the coaches sit and watch practice
--Take the team bowling, to a college or NBA basketball game, or have a pizza party
--Work on skills only for a couple of practice.
There are responses from 29 outstanding coaches in the third section which deals largely with how you are growing and improving your program in the off-season. Some great Q&A's include:
What are your priorities during the off-season?
What are you seeking to learn in the off-season?
How do you prepare players for new roles?
What does your evaluation as a team/player at the end of the season look like?
There is also a brief section at the end of resources such as player evaluation forms for the off-season
One of the bonuses of the book I enjoyed is that all 117 coaches that were interviewed gave their favorite motivational quote -- that alone makes the book invaluable. Click here for more information.