When last we met – or at least the last time I posted, I was about to start coaching clinic season. With the virus situation, all the clinics were virtual (thank you, Zoom!). Three scheduled clinics for Flag Football Fanatics turned into four. The live session with Goodyear Parks and Rec fall baseball became my first online streaming clinic as we recorded it and offered coaches the opportunity to view it on their own schedule (again, thank you, Zoom!).
Before the clinics, my hope was for the leagues for which I was providing the training to “have dozens of new and experienced coaches who better understand the rules of their sport, how to plan practices, make line-ups and manage playing time, and deal with parents and referees. In other words, how to have a successful season”. Well, the philosophy and practical recommendations reached over 150 coaches!
Speaking of success, one of the things I like to do during the clinics is to ask the participants…
In one word, how would you define a successful season?
During the clinic, I use Mentimeter to have the coaches answer the question in real-time. Mentimeter builds a word cloud with the responses. A word cloud displays the responses horizontally and vertically. The larger the depiction of the response, the more times it was entered. I like to collect the coaches’ responses. Here are the four clouds from the fall 2020 Flag Football Fanatics clinics…
Notice anything? The same word is the largest in the center of all of the word clouds – FUN. I think this is fantastic. The next largest (and therefore most often answered) words are things like growth, learn(ing), progress, and excitement. And don’t think I didn’t geek out with the ‘hustle’ response! Anyway, these results fit exactly with my definition of a successful season; i.e. the athletes have fun, learn to play the game and improve throughout the season. My ultimate measure of success is whether the child decides to play again the following season.
Overall, I am thrilled that I was able to continue my relationship with Flag Football Fanatics and do my first ever baseball clinic. I also appreciated the opportunity to work out new technological methods to reach coaches – using Zoom to have virtual clinics and recording one and making it available via link to coaches later. I look forward to taking advantage of these new skills in my attempt to spread the Hustle & Attitude philosophy to more youth recreational sports coaches so they can help their athletes have successful seasons.