As April arrives it’s appropriate to reflect on the season that was while looking ahead at the same time. No matter what type of season you’ve had, there’s always one thing you can hold onto.
The best is yet to come.
A season’s success is not always defined on the scoreboard. Wins are great, but they’re not what solely define success. As the legendary football coach Chuck Noll said, “A lifetime of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning.” It’s important to keep this in mind when evaluating your season and planning for the future.
Most likely, your season has fallen into one of three categories: disappointing, average, and wildly successful.
In a disappointing season you might not have won as many games as you’d like, sustained too many injuries, maybe the group didn’t click this year, or team chemistry was not there. Or all of the above! These seasons are draining, no question about it. At their conclusion you must take time off to reset, recharge, and get back at it. Frame your offseason mindset around the belief that the best is yet to come.
Players are no different than coaches. They will need a confidence boost in order to improve for next year. Be the optimistic leader your team needs to rebound from the disappointment. The only way to do this is believing a better future is right around the corner.
Average seasons usually include records around .500, a relatively healthy campaign, and a good group with no real chemistry issues. Most average seasons don’t end with long playoff runs, but that’s okay. The blessing with average seasons are that players’ attention, motivation, and buy-in are primed for a great offseason.
After average seasons coaches can speak to what’s possible in the future after a dedicated offseason. If you paint the optimistic picture that the best is yet to come for your group, the average season could turn into a wildly successful one next year.
If you were fortunate enough to have a wildly successful season you most likely enjoyed more wins than losses, were relatively injury free, and had a great culture. You are getting ready to embark on the playoff journey and have aspirations of hoisting that coveted championship trophy. However, you’re facing danger as the post-season nears, and the danger you have to protect against is contentment. A smooth and successful regular season can lull players into thinking they can rely on past success for future glory.
Coaches must encourage their players to raise their game, and if they do, the best is yet to come. Winning teams are forged from coaches who challenge their athletes to continue peaking as the season progresses. Athletes need to be reminded to keep their eyes on the prize, and work even harder to become the best they’re capable of becoming. With the postseason here, now is the time to preach about the great things to come if players remain focus and dedicated.
The coaching profession is one of the absolute best professions in the world. We get to impact lives on a daily basis. We will have good seasons, average seasons, and seasons with not many wins. However, we will always be able to get the most out of our athletes if we believe and coach with the mindset that the best is yet to come.