Begin with setting your long term goals. These goals are usually developed at the Program level so they will be set by, or with, your Head Coach. This is what you want your program to accomplish over multiple years. It should be shared with your coaching staff, but depending on where you are at in your program, it might not be a good idea to share it with your kids. If you are in the first year of a re-build, you have to be careful about how you explain your goal of winning a Championship. Your kids are not stupid and if you have adversity during the season, they can jump to the conclusion that you have quit on them or moved on to the future.
After you set your long term goals, move onto setting your intermediate goals. These goals are your season long goals, or your off-season long goals. These goals should support your long term goals. Essentially, they are the road map to accomplish your long term goals.
The final set of goals are your short term goals, or game goals. These are the goals you most commonly see in playbooks. These are determined by the type of offense you run and the type of team you have. Here are the goals I have established for next season.
As you can see with my goals, I did not put a specific amount of yards to run or throw for. Part of what I believe as a coach is that I will do whatever we are best at during that game against that team. I love what Bill Belichick and Tom Brady do with New England and if I need to run the ball 55 times in a game to win, that is what I will do.
Another thing you will notice is that we do not talk about NO turnovers or NO sacks. It is better to speak positively. Your kids will picture things in their heads and you want to keep a positive picture. If you say to a kid, “Don’t fumble” inside his head he subconsciously flashes on fumbling. Now, if you say, “High and Tight, Perfect Ball Security” he sees the proper way to hold the ball!
Develop the Process
This is how you tie it all together. I will show you a way to take a long term goal into an intermediate goal into a short term goal.
Long Term Goal: Win Conference
- What does it take to win your conference?
- How many games do you need to win in order to win your conference?
- Are there specific teams you need to beat?
Let’s say that you need to win 6 games to win your conference. That automatically becomes an intermediate goal.
Intermediate Goal: Win 6 Games
- What do you need to do to win these 6 games?
- What game metrics do you believe will bring you the most victories?
- Do you believe a certain % of 3rd Down Conversions will win you games?
- A certain number of rushing yards?
- The turnover battle?
I will say that you need to win the turnover battle in order to win those 6 games. Obviously this is a simplistic way to look at it. There is a good chance that it will take all of those things and more to win those 6 games, but that is what becomes your short term goals.
Short Term Goal: Win the Turnover Battle
- How will your stress ball security?
- How will you stress takeaways?
- How do you make it an important part of your overall philosophy?
Let’s say that you believe ball security and no fumbles is the most important part of winning the turnover battle. Now you take that short term goal and you create a plan that will let you accomplish that goal.
- Do you design a practice plan that has ball security drills everyday?
- Do you reward proper ball carrying when you see it?
- Do you talk about it in all of your meetings?
This has become a much longer article than I initially intended to write. I hope you were able to find some useful things in here and it will help you to grow as a coach and a team. I also challenge you to set goals in your personal and professional life!