With the start of school upon us, I figured I'd share with you some of the items I consider important in player's notebooks. This is definitely not a new idea, but one that I feel is extremely valuable. The use of player notebooks lends itself to multiple purposes such as organizational skills, time management skills, and making sure players have the necessary information to be successful. This obviously benefits the student athlete. Notebooks also can serve as a fantastic tool for us as coaches to monitor academics, inspire and motivate our student athletes, as well as keep them all on the same page within our systems.
My player's notebook will contain the following:
Contacts - This will include key athletic staff members, the coaching staff, players, and managers phone numbers and email addresses.
Time Management - A master calendar is included in this section. Key academic dates such as the last day to drop/add a class, registration dates, holidays, last day to pay bills, and final exams. Other key dates for the team such as practice times, games, and travel days are included as well.
In addition, a week at a glance sheet for a typical week is included. Players then would sit with a coach and block off times for class, practice, workouts, studying, meals, and personal time.
Academics - Grade sheets for every class. The grade sheets would have a table that players, with the aid of a coach, will fill in assignments from their syllabi, due dates, and the grade they receive. All assignments, tests, papers, and the like will be included. This will give coaches an idea of how players are progressing academically.
This section can also include study tips, school policies on plagiarism and academic guidelines, and various items in regards to academia.
Motivational - This includes players' directive affirmations (mentioned in earlier post - very good stuff if you haven't read it). This is also where players add inspirational and motivational quotes I give them.
Basketball - Players will add the team playbook and scouting reports. This is to be written by the players themselves. I will write and diagram plays, notes, scouting reports in the locker room and the players are responsible for writing this information in their notebook.
Misc. - Anything else that does not fit the above descriptions included here.
I am a big proponent of the player notebook system. It is a great way to teach lifelong skills and support abilities that will benefit your student athletes outside of the classroom. I encourage you to consider using some of these ideas.