By: Tara VanDerveer
Originally Published in: Winning Ways of Women Coaches
Provided by: Human Kinetics
Whoever you have, make the most of it. Be efficient with your time, and be specific about what you want to do and how you want to do it. It is important to communicate your expectations to everyone in no uncertain terms. The head coach has to have a vision for everything and the staff has to buy in to that vision. They don't have to agree with it totally, and they might not do it that way, but they have to understand your vision. With recruiting, it is about what kind of players you want to coach. not really the players they like. On the court, it will be the drills you want to do and the offense you want to run, not what they want to run.
Discussions need to be open and transparent with your staff - here is what we are doing and why. I don't say it is my way or the highway because we are going to talk through things. I really want a lot of input from my staff, but there are times I have to finally say, "Look, I am the head coach. We are doing it this way, and that 18 inches of where you sit versus where I sit is a lot farther than you think."
In our basketball program, I am the head coach and I have three assistants. One thing I have learned to do is have a hierarchy of assistants. I have a number one assistant, number two assistant, and number three assistant. I think it is helpful not to act like all three assistants are equal, because they are not. My number one assistant is paid more than number two, and number two is paid more than number three, who is usually the newest assistant. I have developed job descriptions for each of those positions. That's not to say that it is strict, but the way I look at it, the easier jobs are usually for the number three assistant. This year when I hired two new assistants, I asked them, "What are you good at? What do you like to do?" At the same time, to develop them as coaches, I asked them, "What do you need to be doing?" I try to mix things up and change up the workload so that people are successful fulfilling their specific responsibilities, but they are also challenged.