Coach without a training journal is not really a proper coach!
Attending of coaching seminars and participating in coaching courses does not automatically make anyone a coach. Simple appointing or registering as a coach does not make one either. Becoming of coach is a long process of gaining experience which turns an enthusiastic person into a real coach. It is possible to make this process easier (and it’s strongly recommended) by attending coaching courses, searching and studying available materials, consulting with experts, etc. It is important to note that every (potential) coach learns best from his/her own mistakes and the more mistakes we do the more we are ready for similar situations in the future. There is no single way to succeed and no one will be able to advise what to do and how exactly. That is what makes coaching so difficult and beautiful at the same time.
Every player is different, the same way every team and every coach vary one from another. Some people are more talented for match coaching while others show better potential at the practice and training sessions preparation. Linking of coaching (during a game) and training (during a practice), as two very different activities, is very demanding. If I look at myself a couple of years back, in the light of experience, I must say I was not a good coach. Today I am certainly better. As everyone else I never stop learning. I’m also sure if I look back at myself in ten years time, it’s very probable, that I will tell myself again that I haven’t been a very good coach. Keeping records of a training journal is very good thing to do. It gives a coach an instrument to measure achievements of a coaching process. It helps keeping on track with set objectives as well as provides a self-reflecting document for own and team development.
For clarification, a training journal is not a typical diary but a record of all important information based on subjective perception. Some coaches using training journal to keep records of mistakes they make in coaching process. It is highly recommended keeping records (in either hard or soft copy) of elementary things like the contents of the training as well as evaluations and observation notes from the games. Human memory is far from being a perfect instrument to keep records. It is a natural process that the new information pushes the old information away from the memory. Nothing stops this process better than updated Training Journal.
Classic example for keeping records can be as follows: Imagine an athlete whose coach thinks that he/she remembers everything or feels no need to keep a journal. The athlete does a lot of practice, then takes part in a competition and completely fails. How could you tell what went wrong? Was the athlete overtrained? Most likely the coach doesn’t know and even if he does there is no way the coach is able make a professional assessment by simply browsing in his memory. On the contrary an athlete runs a new world record. How the coach can justify what made the athlete so good, or how has the athlete practiced? The coach simply cannot know without any record. The coach cannot learn from his mistakes, nor can he continue doing whatever he has done right. Floorball training process, as a collective sport, is much more complicated than a “mere” running. Once again – Keep a Training Journal!
As a coach of common floorball team, you barely have time to do your homework for training sessions. Maybe you are even of the opinion that keeping a training journal is a luxury for top European team coaches and you simply don’t have time for that. Our advice is to start keeping journal as a trial for several weeks/months. Soon enough you will find out that you cannot operate without a training journal any more. Best way is to keep a journal in a simple form. All you need is a small note book for keeping records of players’ attendance, dates of matches and other important information as training plans, the contents and evaluation of trainings and matches (if nothing else, even a smiley face is a form of evaluation). If you go through the pages then, you’ll see information in an order similar to the following: monthly plan, weekly plan, the contents and evaluation of trainings in particular week, evaluation of matches, evaluation of a week, a plan for the following week, etc.; There should also be a monthly evaluation together with a plan for the following month. It should simply include a basics of what you intend to manage in a month and what the set goals are. Tasks you have planned for the first week are to be assessed before the second week starts and the plan for the remaining weeks is to be adjusted according to your weekly evaluations; The same process applies for monthly planning.
If your preference is to keep a training journal the proper way and don’t mind a record-keeping, your training journal would either consist of number of different files in your computer or a special computer programs can be utilized.
What usually is or might be the contents of a proper training journal?
- name of the club
- symbol of the club
- coaching staff
Evaluation of the Previous Season:
- coaching staff
- list of players
- quantification of data – GTI, STI (general and specific training index – see below)
- results – league matches, competition table, national cup results, pre-season game results, statistics of the team and individual players
- assessment of individual players
- evaluation of objective fulfillments
- season review = suggestions for improvement
- list of players – players’ positions, contacts (changes in the team)
- coaching staff
- training and game environment (facilities, equipment, possibilities)
- team goals (expected results, technical and tactical skills improvement, fitness, line-ups and playing system or style)
- individual goals for all field-players and goalkeepers
- Helpful notes:
- split the yearly training cycle (YTC) into section – progress chart, season plan, (GTI, STI)
- break the plan into smaller units – macro-cycles + operative cycles
- Use words like “must” and “should”
- plan for the period in an appropriate order: YTC – MAC – MSC – MC – TS (Year’s Training Cycle – Macro-Cycle – Mid-Cycle – Micro-Cycle – Training Session)
- always do an evaluation of objectives and propose improvements after every cycle
- players’ attendance
- records for/from TS
- records for/from matches (preparation – assessment)
- results (own team/opponents)
- analysis of the playing systems (own team/opponents)
- players assessment – qualitative, statistics
- quantification of GTI, STI, and the workload
- psychological preparation
- personal cards of the players – personal data, holding of the stick, position, individual aims, performance index, tests results, subjective assessment, medical records, etc.
(instrument for next season training journal)
- assessment of the main objectives their sub-categories
- evaluation of individual objectives
- results in the competition, national cup and pre-season/friendly matches
- competition statistics of the team and individual players, test results, etc
- quantification of YTC – workload, GTI, STI
- analysis of the season = suggestions for further improvement
General Training Indexes (GTI) are the same for all sports:
- number of days of workload (DS)
- number of TS (NTS)
- number of hours of workload (NHS)
- number of recovery hours (REC)
- number of matches – number of competition days (NCD)
- number of matches – in our case we further distinguish:
- number of championship matches
- number of cup matches
- number of pre-season/friendly matches
Specific Training Indexes (STI) in floorball are the following:
- drills (D)
- game practice:
- game practice (GP)
- game drills (GD)
- special fitness (SPF)
- general fitness (GF)
- fitness training (Sp – Speed, St – Strength, E – Endurance, C – muscular coordination, A – Agility)
- recovery (REC)
- psychological preparation (PP)
The analysis of these aspects, whether noted as a time or a percentage of the training session time, is for real coach experts. Energy systemse can be also utilized as an additional criteria for preparing STI however it is seems to be useful only to either very experience or professional coaches. Based on these criteria, filling of the following table should be done after each training unit as well as after each season.
|Lactate (La)||Anaerobic Threshold
Apart from the coach’s training journal, an individual player’s diary is very useful for record-keeping. Every athlete has an option to keep records of the most important information about his/her training. Time, intensity (heart rate or some subjective evaluation or description), the practiced activity, recovery activity, the feelings after the training and minor injuries are usually recorded in individual journal. Example of very simple individual journal can be found in materials. In materials you can also find Guidelines for Floorball Coaches with examples of training plans.