With only a few short weeks between your last match and the start of pre season friendlies the summer break can go by in a flash, here’s our guide to guaranteeing your football club makes the most of the summer break.
Analyse last season
Possibly the most vital step in the success of next season is evaluating last season. This has to be done quickly when things are fresh in your mind.
Consider every element of your football club, not just on the pitch. Start with what went well and review the your strengths but more importantly think about what can be improved. Your player talent is the obvious place to start – what caused your most disappointing results? What went wrong and why? Think about your training, are there any weak links that need to be worked on? Did the team work well together, did you get the tactics right?
Coaching and management staff are the next element to consider, is every member contributing everything they can to the team? Are all members pulling in the same direction and have the same goals?
Think about the facilities at the football club and the kit and equipment, what can be improved? Were your sponsors right last season? What do you need to achieve from sponsorship next season?
Every element of your team contributes to your success so leave no stone unturned!
Player social events!
We’re not just talking about the end of season bash here (enjoy though!) we’re talking about building player bonds and team spirit before the pre season training starts.
It’s a great idea to have a get together lined up towards the end of the summer, to allow the team to integrate and kick off the team spirit. Before throwing players back in to training having a get together is a great way to rally the team and spark camaraderie. A social is a great opportunity to set out the goals for the club and get the season started with the right mentality
We’ll cover recruiting new talent to your football club later but having a social is a great way to get new talent and younger players involved.
Set goals for the coming season
The obvious step after reviewing last season is to set your goals for the coming season. Whether you are a youth club, non-league football club, brand new team or professional club, goals should be set and communicated all the way through the team.
Setting goals is a vital part of motivating players and building team spirit. Think about setting goals not only for where you want to rank in the league and what silverware you want to win but also in terms of new members, revenue for the club and sponsorship deals.
Individual goals are also important for your players and your coaching team so make sure that goals are set at every level, motivating each member of the football club.
In the weeks before your season starts pre-season training is vital, for player fitness, a solid start to the season and finalising your tactics. Once your matches start there’s such little time for building fitness or working on tactics so use your training time wisely!
Building fitness is key, after a summer of BBQ’s and beers getting back to fitness needs hard work and determination! Before you get into playing friendlies running is a tried and tested way to build stamina and strength. High Intensity Interval training is a brilliant way to get players running – sprint for 10 seconds and walk for 20 seconds – you can easily build up by reducing the intervals.
The beep test (a favourite among the coaches in the Premier League) is another great way to get players running (although they will hate you for it!)
Once fitness is improving it’s time to get into game situations. Player’s get into the match mindset and you can start to experiment with line up and tactics. A game situation is a positive way to finish a training session, it’s what players love and a great way to lift spirits after a tough session.
Recruit new talent
Every club needs a steady stream of incoming members to keep the club moving forward, they are the future of your club and make sure you can keep serving the community. Pre season is the perfect opportunity to snap up new talent.
Reaching out to parents who want to get their children involved in football is a great place to start, fun days and fund-raisers are a positive way to get your name out there and encourage families to visit the club.
Youth team members could be future players, coaches or board members! You could hold a barbecue for all your players and families, encourage your team to bring along friends and family members to find out what the club is all about.
Take it a step further and engage the local press and ask if they want to take pictures about the football club and its place in the community.
Admin, admin, admin
The list here is endless….approach local businesses about exciting sponsorship opportunities, get the football club kit and equipment updated, update your training equipment, prepare your home venue and make sure the clubhouse, changing rooms and pitch are up to scratch….
But most importantly, get your website ready for the new season! We covered the importance of a great website earlier in the year and now is the time to get moving.
So here’s to a great summer for your football club and a successful season!