Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Staying Organized

Getting organized as a coach can make the difference between a hectic year and your best season ever.  All it takes is a little start up time and the discipline to stick with it.  Here are a few of my tricks to make getting and staying organized easier.

Supply List
  • 3-Ring Binder
  • Clear Page Protectors
  • Tab Dividers
  • Heavy-duty plastic folders with clasps to hold in hole-punched paper
  • Composition Book
  • Heavy Duty Bag.  Either a Duffle or a Curriers bag

The front of the binder should have a master calendar.  I use Microsoft Word to create a calendar on my computer.  Print the whole school year. Use this to add all events and record any absences that your cheerleaders tell you of in advance.  Make sure that you add all events that you have scheduled and dates for.  Update weekly with new events or changes.  Put your calendar in a page protector.

Next, have a Contact list for your team or teams.  Include the full name, cell phone and email for each student.  You can also add the name, phone and email address of a parent.  Put your contact list in a page protector.

Also, keep any forms or documents that your school uses.  I keep a list of all administrators and contact info.  There is a gym schedule of what teams schedule the gym and when.  Include a contact list for other coaches.  In addition, the game schedules for the other sports teams on campus.

You should have a tab section will blank copies of all of the paperwork that the students get. Keep it in order and as you hand out papers, add to this section.  You can write the date that you handed it out on the bottom.

Have a tab for each team.  In my case, I have a tab for the JV and one for Varsity.  Include copies of all the signed paperwork.  Organize it alphabetically by student. Student paperwork includes, permission slips, fees list, cheerleader information sheet, team rules, spirit pack order form, any doctor’s notes and parent communications.

Make sure that you have a tab for individual accounting.  Depending on your records, this should include a ledger of any fees paid, the dues required by each student and any money from fundraising.

At the back of your binder keep any discipline forms and injury report forms so they are ready when needed.

Most schools require you to carry a parent emergency form or clearance form for each child in case of emergency.  These include all contact information for parents and backup contacts along with allergies, injuries and hospital/Doctor information.  I keep copies of these for each cheerleader in the plastic folders.  I keep the folder in my coach’s bag with my team binder.  It is separate for easy access.  If an emergency occurs, I don't want to dig through the team binder to find the one form.

Purchase a simple composition book use it to keep a daily journal.  Record any absences, tardies, discipline, and parent contact.  Jot down what you did that day at practice or the game and the overall feeling of the event.  I also write down what we did for team bonding that day. If we had a discussion, I record the topic and notes on what was said.  This becomes a great tool if you ever have to go back and remember and absences, conversations with students, what day you taught a dance, etc. 

In my coach’s bag, which is my life for the duration of cheer season, I keep my team binders, the emergency forms, my NFHS rulebook, coach’s journal, pens, pencils, hair ties, timer, calculator, and scratch paper.  Depending on your team you can adjust what you carry.  My bag has LOTS of pockets and a heavy duty strap since I drag it everywhere!

This all may seem like a lot, but if you set it up in the beginning and once a week update your binder, journal and clean out your bag you will stay on top of your cheer life.  Use it as a learning tool and set an example for your teams to stay on track!


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