#1- Drama doesn’t carry over to the new staff, don’t waste your time explaining hardships, injustices, favoritisms. The new coaches don’t care or have time to hear it! Instead, ask for expectations, goals, suggestions. Finding out what they expect for you is more important than explaining why you have failed in the past! Start fresh, it’s time to grow up!
#2- A new coach, whether you agree with the change or not, will bring new attention to your program. There will be fresh blood, increased media attention, new donors, bigger budget, new equipment and new technology. Your program may get a slight or major upgrade when a new coach comes in
#3- When a new coach is hired, this is the time to flush negativity out of the program and start fresh. You will likely have a blank slate (even if you have a negative track record)—this is your chance to “start over” and grow up!
#4- New coaches are going to have you under a microscope and enforcing one thing early: attention to detail. Go to class. Be on time. Do what you’re supposed to do when you are supposed to do it.
#5- You will be making your biggest impressions without saying a word, coaches are watching every move their players make. What you DO will tell your coaches more about you than anything you can ever tell them about yourself.
#6- There will be a new way of doing things, Day 1. Learn EXACTLY what your coaches want from you. Do it “their way,” not the way you think works best. They will have a new plan they will be implementing immediately. The more you resist early, the tougher (and less successful) the transition will be.
#7- The first impression coaches will get about you are reports on how you handled the coaching transition while there was no head coach in place. Did you skip workouts, skip class, gain 10 pounds? Were you a leader? Did you keep the team together or did you go buck wild?
#8- When players hear the news of a coaching change on Twitter or ESPN, they are naturally caught off guard and feel disrespected but this is the new standard in our world of social media. It’s best to not overreact on social media! It’s natural to be hurt, so it’s best to take some time to yourself, there is no rule that says you MUST comment publicly. When a new coach is hired, take your time and keep all comments positive. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
#9- When coaches leave a job, it’s never personal with the players, don’t feel like it’s your fault or that you could have done something different. Coaches take new jobs for betterment of their family (more money, closer to home or family) or for the betterment of their career (promotion, easier path to championship, bigger budget). Since there is such a high rate of turnover in coaching, it’s critical you pick a school based on other factors besides the head coach.
#10- The new coach has the right to bring in their own assistant coaches. Sometimes they will retain a coach or two from the old staff, but understand it’s normal for them to clean house and hire coaches that know their system or who they have relationships with. Once everything settles, your old coaches will be fine and likely land on their feet in a new job within a couple months.
#11- Your new coach will likely run some of your teammates off: players with negative attitudes, poor work ethics often quit or threaten to transfer. It doesn’t mean they are a bad coach, it means they were probably poor teammates. (Others may quit because they don’t fit the new style of play.) This is normal.
#12- It’s natural to keep in contact with your old coach, they were likely a mentor that you had a close relationship with. Keep the conversations free of negative talk but know that it’s ok to check in with them or congratulate them on their success in the future.
#13- The depth chart is likely wide open. Use the summer and offseason to work your way up the depth chart. Skill, size and speed are the key factors they are evaluating, BUY IN and get to know their system and style of play backwards and forwards.
#14- Be the first player in, last one to leave—your new coaches will take notice!
#15- Relationships, trust and chemistry take time. You probably feel like that the coaches don’t know you or fully trust you yet… and you may feel the same way about them. Invest in getting to know the new staff, it’s a two-way street. You feel like they don’t know you, well put time in getting to know them!