5 Ways to Highlight Your Coaches in the Offseason

Kaleb Stoppel
Kaleb Stoppel

About the author: Kaleb Stoppel is Assistant Principal & Activities/Athletic Director, Park Hill South High. He is a successful servant-leader in education-based athletics and activities who is passionate about motivating and inspiring students, teachers, coaches, and staff to achieve their goals.

It’s summer! You might feel like you simply need a break from the busy school year and spring season. But as an AD, you know better. The summer months provide room for reflection and a pivot in who and what your focus is on.

In fact, when it comes to who you focus on during the school year, most ADs spend the majority of the school year recognizing teams, programs, and student-athletes. But how well does your school community know your coaches?

The teams your coaches work with each day know your coaches really well.

The parents of those student-athletes likely know your coach really well.

What about the community at large?

With the school year winding down and your summer checklist forming, it’s the perfect time to introduce, celebrate, and spotlight your coaches to the community! Here are five simple ideas for how ADs can recognize, celebrate, and highlight coaches to your community stakeholders.

1. Introduce them with a bio or quote

One of the best and fun ways to highlight your coaches in the offseason is to introduce them with a brief bio or quote. This could include their coaching experience, any awards or achievements they've earned, or their coaching philosophy.

By introducing your coaches with this information, you'll help your community get to know them better and understand what makes them a valuable member of your team.

You can also use this opportunity to highlight any unique traits or skills that your coaches possess that make them stand out from other coaches in the industry.

Some example questions:

  • What is your experience?
  • What do you love about coaching?
  • What is your coaching philosophy?
  • What is a unique fact about you that not many know?

Write the answers out and post on your social media. Let the community know what your coach is all about!

2. Share your coach’s offseason plans

Besides their tan, catching up on Ted Lasso episodes, or spending quality time with family and friends, what does coach plan to work on during the summer months? Are there strategies and techniques they'll use to help their athletes improve during the offseason

Although your coach may not want all their secret plans out on social media, there are many stakeholders who would love to see behind the scenes and hear about all the planning and exciting work being done to make this next season the best yet!

3. Showcase your coach’s team vision

Your coaches are an integral part of your team's success, and showcasing their outlook for the coming season is another great way to highlight them.

Ask coaches what their vision is for next season, any changes they plan to make to their coaching style, and how they plan to motivate their athletes to succeed. This will get the gears turning, and give them a sense of buy-in, ownership, and also help them think on their goals for the upcoming season.

Then, share that vision with the community to give fans a sense of what to expect from your team in the coming months and how your coaches plan to guide your athletes to success.

Tip: this is a great bit of content to share via short video over your social media channels, as it speaks directly to students and parents.

4. Spotlight multiple coaches at the same time

During the school year, it can be hard to highlight all your players. The same holds true if you are a larger program with many coaches on staff.

If you have multiple coaches on your team, grouping them together with one intro can be an effective way to highlight everyone at once. By doing so, you'll emphasize the collaborative effort that goes into coaching a successful team.

Additionally, grouping your coaches together can help your audience see how they work together to achieve a common goal. Use this as an opportunity to highlight each coach's unique strengths and demonstrate how they contribute to the team's philosophy and overall success.

5. Tell a story with a personal memory

People love stories. So sharing a story from your coach’s past is a great way to highlight them. It humanizes them and gives everyone a peek into who they truly are.

Maybe it’s their favorite coaching moments, any significant accomplishments they've achieved in their coaching career, or how they've grown and evolved as a coach over the years. How cool is it for others to learn that your coach was the starting quarterback and sang in the choir in high school? Athletes love seeing their coach “back in the day”.

Even a current big milestone shows off your coach's career.

By sharing your coaches' accomplishments, or past and favorite memories, your community will get a deeper understanding of their commitment and of what motivates and inspires them. Additionally, you'll show them how much your coaches care about their athletes and how invested they are in their success.

Give coaches the recognition they deserve

Coaches are leaders of their programs, and more often than not, lead sight unseen from the public. They sacrifice time with family, friends, and personal pursuits to spend countless hours planning, prepping, and working alongside coaches and athletes. Not often does the community get to see what coaches do and who they are behind the ball cap, whistle, and polo.

Summer provides the perfect opportunity to not only recognize coaches for their dedication and hard work, but also the opportunity to engage the community in celebrating coaches together! Coaches deserve all the recognition, celebration, and appreciation we can give, and I hope YOU will consider how to highlight your coaches during this offseason.

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