Head Football Coaches and Athletic Directors!!
There is NO better way to evaluate the state of your current program than by surveying your players. It is best to do this survey as close to the end of the season as possible, while everything is still fresh in their minds.
I’ve surveyed my players EVERY year as a Head Football Coach. I’ve also surveyed more than 40 teams as an Athletic Director. This feedback is VITAL to make your programs better. Now, some coaches and ADs don’t like to do surveys like this because of their own pride. They don’t really want to hear what the kids have to say about their coaching, their season, etc. etc. I’ve never really understood that myself.
I have this survey I’m referring to in my coaching manual.
A few reasons I think a survey of your players like this important:
1. Allows them to have a voice in the program. Most of us coaches think and say “it’s your program, I’ve got next year.” But do you really mean that? Is it really the kids program? Or are you the egomaniac center of it? I think that it goes a long way to give the kids a voice in the program. It doesn’t mean you cater to them, it doesn’t mean that if they say “we don’t like running” that you stop running! But it does let them know that you care about them as a person, and as a football player.
2. Sometimes the kids have some great ideas! And these great ideas can make your program better. Listen, we don’t know it all. We may think we do, but we don’t. As soon as we stop listening to the kids we coach, we fail. I’ve had some really great responses doing these surveys with my teams. Sometimes we think something is working, but it is not, you are missing the boat.
One example is in pregame meals. Several years ago, it was the tradition for the school I was at to go to Sizzler restaurant for our pregame meals. Sizzler is a steak house, with salad bar. We got a great deal at one of the places in town because the owners daughter went to our school. Well, one year, a bunch of the kids wrote that they hated going there. It had become an old hat. I never knew that. For whatever reason, none of my captains ever said anything, but when this hit my radar, and I brought it to my Player Committee, they all started laughing and said “yeah, we hate that place Coach.”
Well, maybe it seems like a small thing to you, but to me this was big. Why make the kids go to a restaurant before the game that they don’t want to be at? Plus the kids said that they steak just didn’t digest quickly enough. I didn’t want ANYTHING to be a distraction before the game. I wanted them to enjoy where we were at. So, I made a change for the next season and let the kids choose a place. They were so excited!!
Another year, the kids told me we weren’t conditioning enough!! Can you imagine that? Again, this is something the kids would never come right out and say. But something like 40% of them thought we weren’t conditioning enough, and it was negatively impacting us during games. I thought we were doing a fine job. My coaching staff was blown away by this. But we increased conditioning the next year.
3. Confirms that you are doing things right. It’s always nice to hear the kids say “Coach, you are doing everything right, don’t change a thing with this, or this, or this.” It’s not that we need a pat on the back, but you want to make sure you are on target. That you are reaching them and teaching them. So, that’s another reason I like to do these surveys.
I conduct this survey using Survey Monkey.
Here is why it’s important to have a consultant like me survey your players:
1. They will feel free to write exactly how they feel about the program, giving you the best possible feedback possible. Kids will like that this information is going to a confidential third party. I don’t know who they are, and I won’t know who they are!
2. This process allows a fresh set of eyes and ears to help evaluate your program. You might get defensive and not really listen to what is being said. Using a third party allows for me to give a different point of view to what is being said. Again, I’ve been surveying kids for 10 years now, and have great experience in helping to make programs better. This is one of the greatest tools I’ve used.
3. SAVE TIME!! Coach and Athletic Director – you have way too many other things to do to wrap up a season than sit at a computer and go through all of these surveys one by one, put together the results, evaluate them, etc. Your time is more than worth the small investment required for a third party to do this survey for you!
1. After you process your order, I create your custom survey on Survey Monkey after we discuss what questions you want on there.
2. You distribute the survey to your players via email, social media, or have them all come in to the computer lab at the same time. The most effective way I’ve seen these surveys done is by having them all come in for a meeting, or split the team in to four groups, or whatever you need to do to get it all done in one afternoon, in one place. One school I was at, the kids all had laptops, so they brought those with them to our meeting room, and I wrote the URL on the board for them.
3. I collect the data.
4. I write a report using the data. Most of the report will be the kids own words. I breakdown and organize all of their answers in a way that is very easy and precise for you to read, study and evaluate.
5. How long does it take? This will ALL depend on how long you leave the survey open for. I need approximately one week for every 30 kids in your program once the survey is closed.