October 5, 2020
What should I talk about in my pre-game meeting?
CYCA is a Developmental League so we always want to be teaching and adding value for our athletes. Some are just learning the game, others aspire to advance to bigger leagues, bonspiels and even playdowns. As coaches our job is to inspire, direct and add value to the team. How can we do that on a weekly basis?
Always talk about the team first. How is our mental state? (Focus, relaxed, stressed etc.) What are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? What about the other team’s strengths and weaknesses? How do we feel about the venue?
Ask individuals for their goal or focus for the game. For example: I want to make more draws or more hits. I want to work on my sweeping technique. As coach, you can then monitor these things. You do not have to keep statistics, but you can talk after the game about those goals: You threw 6 draws. One through the house, 2 short but usable, 3 in the rings and two of those were good and set up the end.
Your pre-game meeting should always be positive and usually no longer than 5 minutes. Finish with a team cheer or some other activity that tells the body that it’s time to play. My go to is always, “Go do what you gotta do.” My teams won’t leave the table until I’ve said it.
If you have an effective pre-game meeting, this allows you to follow-up in the post-game meeting.
Andy Jones has been coaching competitive teams for more than 20 years and is a Learning Facilitator and former Master Coach Developer for Curling Alberta.