This is the part where you have to decide what you expect of your season, your team and the individual players. There is so much to learn, but how much time do you have? You have to make decisions, prioritize. Luckily, lots of coaches and unions have invested a lot of time in this, you can simply start of with their work. Their Long Term Athlete Development (or LTAD) models helps us to understand the different phases of development and the best way to present learning. The role of an U10's coach is really different from that of an Elite team.
You can use these LTAD model as a starting point for your goalsetting. I like the Irish version: Long Term Player Development, but my favourite is the development model of the French Rugby Federation, their 5 steps development plan maps more or less on the LTAD stages of development.
Other factors are:
- Is winning important? If you are a Youth Coach you have a double-goal: you are also responsible for the long term development of you players and giving them a positive experience in sport.
- Target your opposition, what is needed to beat them?
- Use the experiences of last season.
This is also the moment to think about training cycles, you can outline a whole season/year, detail shorter cycles. What are the individuals goals for these cycles?
How do you want to play? You need to think about this, there are always two sides on this:
- What can be achieved with the players and training time I have, maximise potential?
- What is needed to win / become national champion / to get promoted with the National Under 18?
When you think of this or discuss it with your peers than you can set realistic goals. (And also take appropiate action like telling your teammanager to find a suitable budget...)
- More information on Goalsetting.
- Background information on the Long Term Athlete Development Model.
- The gameplan pages.
- Download LTPD and LTAD models I used from the Free Download Page.