'Awesome experience'; CA school district sees more than 30 coaches participate in team-building workshop

More than 30 high school coaches from Madera Unified School District, Madera, CA, attended a Coaching Better Workshop held recently at the school. Marty Bitter, Director of Athletics at Madera Unified, coordinated the workshop in which coaches participated in activities designed to enhance team cohesion, personal reflection, practice improvement, and more.

“The Coaching Better Workshop was an awesome experience,” said Bitter. “The response from coaches in attendance has been great. It was especially gratifying to see our coaches work together to find solutions.”

Bitter shared that coaches often are so concentrated on game strategies and Xs and Os that they often overlook their motivation for coaching in the first place. “The CBW got them to think about what values their programs stand for, what those values look like, and how they are communicated, demonstrated, and used to set expectations for their student-athletes.” That discussion sometimes “felt like peeling the layers off an onion to get the answers,” admits Bitter. Most coaches are used to providing superficial responses that aren’t reinforced, and “The workshop prodded them to dig a little deeper to find answers.”

Coaches are always there 24/7 to help and serve their athletes, said Bitter, and the workshop stressed the value and importance of having strong relationships with student-athletes and of making practices and team activities fun.

And while coaches are always there to serve their athletes, “Who is there to help and serve our coaches?,” asks Bitter. The CBW stressed the importance of off-season mental health for coaches, encouraging them to rest, learn, and recharge—and reinvigorate their passion for coaching.

“All our coaches got better this weekend, and I look forward to seeing them continue to grow in the future. I encourage every school or sport organization to implement the Coaching Better Workshop to reach their ultimate potential,” concluded Bitter.