Establish and implement predictable and consistent routines and approaches

Why: Routines regulate the group dynamic and allow for maximum productivity towards a shared goal. This regulation exists in three areas: learning efficacy, time efficiency and athlete confidence. By establishing and following through on predictable routines for training, communication and logistics, coaches can create an environment that lowers athlete anxiety and builds trust necessary for risk taking and growth.

How: Coaches establish training, communication and logistical routines that serve as benchmarks or touch points for athletes. These can be warm-up routines, weekly practice flow, or pre-game rituals. The consistency with which coaches utilize these will determine how effective and long-lasting the routine is. Coaches who implement this core practice most ambitiously integrate routines and flexible execution in a way that shows they are not mutually exclusive. Rather, the structure of routines provides guidance for how and when to flex most effectively. The most effective routines employ the athletes’ ability to work independently, at a level appropriate to their age and experience. This is done through early instruction and enforcement by the coach, and is then consistently executed with minimal directive language from coaches to athletes.

Resources

In this series of clips, we see how the coach has established a routine that the athletes follow at the beginning of each practice. This routine allows athletes, coaches and staff to perform multiple tasks in a consistent amount of time. The coach is also able to use other core practices during this structured time.