It’s not too often that you see coaches walking around their practices/training sessions with clipboards. It’s quite rare now, actually. However, if we take a look back, oh, I don’t know, in the early 2000’s and prior – coaches always had clipboards. In fact, it was almost a staple in coaches repertoire to have a clipboard in their hand/on their side. Things have changed now and I’m not so sure that it’s for the better.
For me, I have a difficult time understanding why coaches don’t have a clipboard on them during training sessions. It just doesn’t look right when a coach is empty handed. I will outline a few reasons in this article as to why every coach should have a clipboard.
1. The first reason is for ASSESSMENT. Any and every coach should be assessing their players in order to track and monitor their progress. Additionally, this progress should be noted as it’s occurring/happening. If coaches wait days or even weeks to reflect back on what players did, they will not be able to recall specifics. However, when progress is documented with the use of assessment and evaluation during the practice, a coach will hardly ever miss details (e.g. – Areas of improvement, what the player did well, where the player is lacking, how their mood was, their energy levels, etc).
2. The second reason is for COACHING POINTS. Anytime that a coach runs a training session, they will evidently want to hone in on specific coaching points in order to give the players a better idea as to what to do and how to do it. A lot of times coaches will skip out on this because they either forget to do so or because they don’t have the coaching points on them/can’t remember what they were. Using a clipboard will help in this regard – Take a quick glance down, see what you have written, and make the points needed to the players.
3. The third reason is in regards to the PRACTICE PLAN. It’s good if coaches can memorize what their session entails/encompasses, but what if the coach forgot one very small thing? This could potentially throw the training session for a loop. Even if the coach knows exactly what they are setting up for their practice, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the practice plan on a clipboard just to review and make sure that everything is in place.
4. The fourth and final reason is for ADJUSTMENTS. Sometimes during a practice, coaches need to make adjustments (i.e. – player numbers, drill adaptations, spacing requirements, etc). Being able to jot down these points is important. This, so when a coach transitions to their next segment in the session, they know exactly what needs to be changed.
All in all, having a clipboard seems par for the course when it comes to coaching. Some coaches just aren’t into it, and that’s okay. However, give this a try and see if you notice a difference in your coaching. Please note – If you, as a coach, ever want to put down your clipboard during a practice, then make sure it is in an area wear a player can’t trip, fall, or hurt themselves on it. Best wishes, coaches!