The First 30 Days

Think back to your first thirty days on the job and pick one word to describe that time.

Whirlwind, Blur, Hectic… are a few that we’ve heard recently

It started with that moment of pure joy you felt when you heard the words, “Congrats Coach? We are thrilled to have you on board!” and then reality hit, craziness ensued, and every aspect of your life changed.

You were probably overwhelmed with the logistics, messages, interviewing, hiring staff members, living in temporary housing, relocating, trying to return the flurry of calls/texts you received, and that doesn’t even address the fact that you just inherited new players and need to recruit.

Imagine all of this coupled with the fact that you have a million questions about this new place you’ve found yourself and even the simple things like:

  • Where do I park?
  • Where do I eat?
  • I leave for recruiting in two days, who can I see about getting gear?
  • Who do I talk to about… everything?

Whether this is a first-time job or you’ve been “in the game” for a long while, these situations always provide new challenges, bumps in the road and nearly guaranteed stress. How you choose to manage that stress is up to you; after all, you control your program, your decisions, and your environment.

Now let’s think about this same experience for a new player and their first thirty days in your program. Any similarities?

They too, experience the same whirlwind of emotions, from the joy of “making it,” to the realization that school, workouts, practice, homework, etc. Now…well, everything is hitting them like a freight train. Not to mention, this is the first time away from home for many of these kids with a brave new world of distractions and opportunities staring back at them.

The amount of individualized learning and “you growth” that happens in the first semester is critical for performance. Like a newborn baby, they are soaking in everything around them like a sponge. Many coaches will say you can tell a lot about a kid in their first semester on campus. So why do coaches not take advantage of this time to properly prepare these kids for what is to come?

Everything from culture, team personalities, terminology, early principles, etc. can be covered in the months leading up to arriving on campus. Your players are then ready to make an immediate impact on your program the moment they step on campus because you’ve empowered them to do so.

Utilizing this strategy, you will eliminate major initial stress points and decrease opportunities for performance anxiety for your players because you have clearly communicated to them the expectations, language, and vision for your program. You can do this in many ways, but the most effective option is to make it engaging with slides, video, diagrams, notes and more.

Take the binder that you’ve probably already given your players for the semester and replace it with designed slides, videos from alumni, interactive terminology pages, and individualized quizzes. Ensure your players understand what you want from them on their own time, because once fall comes they are on your time and they won’t have the opportunity to catch up.

Slides with video can be designed to teach your team about your program’s values.

At Just Play, we do this type of flipped teaching for teams, organizations, and even ourselves. We utilize our own platform to onboard a new hire, train them in our system, and prepare them to succeed.

To learn more about this process and/or walk through your process with one of our process coaches, click the link below and let’s set up a call.


Just Play Sports Solutions provides basketball staffs with a complete coaching solution – all in one application. From building playbooks, scouting opponents, teaching players and coordinating recruiting schedules, you will prepare faster and engage better with today’s athletes using Just Play.

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