By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
The team banquet gives coaches an opportunity to honor the players in front of their parents. While drumming up positive public relations might not be every coach’s favorite activity, it does help the coach create a family atmosphere with everyone pulling in the same direction.
Buckeye Border (Ohio) Fellowship of Christian Athletes Area Director Rex Stump counsels coaches on the best strategies for hosting a successful team banquet. He shared 10 pieces of advice with FNF Coaches.
Set Clear Expectations For the Banquet.
- What time are you starting?
- What should you wear?
- What you can bring?
- Put ending time to your banquet, so that people know exactly when you will finish.
Identify Some Area of Growth From the Season.
A good leader has a vision and knows how to cast it in a positive manner. What were your goals for the season? Now is the time to share some of those goals, and more importantly celebrate your accomplished goals. DO NOT linger on the things you DIDN’T do.
Thank Everyone Who Helped in Any Way.
This includes the Principal, athletic director, the janitor, bus drivers, managers, and then
a BIG thanks for the parents and players. Consider all who played a part in the success of your season.
Know First and Last Names.
Know and say the first and last name of each player, manager, staff person. Make sure everyone gets recognized!
Highlight Three Things for Each Player.
Stats are good, but they are not everything. Look for highlights that show the character and growth of an individual.
Avoid Negative Comments.
Do not belittle other coaches, programs, or your players. An example is giving an award to a player because they made a dumb mistake or a funny comment. You can have a fun banquet without belittling your players.
Give Equal Time to Each Player.
Make sure that all players are valued by you. This is not just a varsity banquet, it is a team banquet. Make sure each player gets the same value time. Do not linger too long on one player, and avoid repeating stats and comments about certain players.
Don’t Take Away Hope for a Football Future.
You may be “realistic” about playing opportunities for next year, college, etc. but the
banquet is not the place to share your opinion about a player’s future. Encourage your players to follow their dreams, don’t make promises, just encourage.
Highlight Team Accomplishments.
While sharing the team accomplishment, make sure you don’t confuse or bore
the parents with inside jokes, or inside stats that no one understands.
Involve the Seniors.
Have each senior take 30 seconds to share what really mattered to them, what they learned, and a thank you to the parents. Make sure you have those seniors write down what they are going to share, and make sure you read it a day before the banquet.
Do you have a thought about this article that you would like to share? If you do, email managing editor Dan Guttenplan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet us @fnfcoaches.