Coaching Better Every Season
A year-round system for athlete development and program success
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Maximize the development of your athletes and team throughout the year, and just maybe win a postseason title in the process. Coaching Better Every Season: A Year-Round System for Athlete Development and Program Success presents a blueprint for such success, detailing proven coaching methods and practices in preseason, in-season, postseason, and off-season.
The Coach Doc, Dr. Wade Gilbert, shares his research-supported doses of advice that have helped coaches around the globe troubleshoot their ailing programs into title contenders. His field-tested yet innovative prescriptions and protocols for a more professional approach to coaching are sure to produce positive results both in competitive outcomes and in the enjoyment of the experience for athletes and coaches.
Coaching Better Every Season applies to all sports and guides coaches through the critical components of continual improvement while progressing from one season to the next in the annual coaching cycle. It also presents many practical exercises and evaluation tools that coaches can apply to athletes and teams at all levels of competition. This text is sure to make every year of coaching a more rewarding, if not a trophy-winning, experience.
The primary audiences for Coaching Better Every Season: A Year-Round System for Athlete Development and Program Success are coaches at the high school, club, college, and Olympic levels. Secondary audiences include serious youth sport coaches; students in college and university coaching courses; and sport administrators at the high school, collegiate, and Olympic levels.
Part I Preseason: Envision
Chapter 1 Define Purpose and Core Values
Chapter 2 Connect Values to a Philosophy
Chapter 3 Set Target Outcomes
Chapter 4 Build Trust and Cohesion
Part II In-Season: Enact
Chapter 5 Develop Athletic Talent and Skill
Chapter 6 Optimize Athletes’ Learning
Chapter 7 Design Quality Practices
Chapter 8 Ensure Precompetition Readiness
Chapter 9 Coach Effectively on Game Day
Part III End of Season: Evaluate
Chapter 10 Design and Implement a Program Evaluation System
Chapter 11 Recognize and Build on Strengths
Part IV Off-Season: Enhance
Chapter 12 Close Performance Gaps
Chapter 13 Collaborate and Learn
Chapter 14 Recharge and Ignite
Closing Repeating Success
“I met Wade at a USOC coach education seminar, and was immediately impressed by his knowledge of what it takes to coach at a championship level. His cycle for continuous excellence and many of his other insights and recommendations ring true to my experience and teachings throughout my career. Coaching Better Every Season has just become more possible for any coach who reads and applies the wisdom and best practices found in this book.”
Anson Dorrance—Head Coach of University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Team, 22-Time NCAA National Champions
“The best sport programs have a solid plan for success and follow that winning formula consistently each year. Coaching Better Every Season is a blueprint for building just such a structure for success that coaches can apply and adapt to their specific sport and personnel. Wade Gilbert’s season-by-season guide is a great tool for any coach who is willing to ask “What can I improve?” and who is then willing to take the steps to do so. At YSU our motto is Macte virtute, a Latin phrase that commands us to increase excellence. With Wade’s book, you can do just that.”
Jim Tressel—President of Youngstown State University and Five-Time National Champion Football Coach
“I first heard Wade speak about quality coaching at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The message he shared that day, summarized in this impressive book, is a proven approach to building better athletes and programs. I highly recommend coaches at all levels of sport read this book and apply Wade’s strategies in their coaching.”
Greg Schell—Coordinator of Hockey Development for Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club
“Now 47 years into my coaching journey, I am still looking for ways to improve my coaching. I just wish Coaching Better Every Season had been available earlier in my career. It is an invaluable resource filled with key concepts, proven strategies, innovative ideas, and insightful examples for addressing the philosophical underpinnings, the seasonal process, and effective day-to-day applications in coaching. Throughout the book are recommended strategies for improving coaching effectiveness via a careful blend of art and science. Read and use this book, and you’ll be a better coach.”
Vern Gambetta—Founder of GAIN (Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network) and Coach/Consultant to NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Collegiate, National, and Olympic teams
“Dr. Gilbert is widely recognized as a leader in coach education. His guidance for coaches—not just coaching theory but also applied practical advice—allows us to be more effective in what we do.”
Ken Martel—Technical Director of USA Hockey
“If you are satisfied with your quality of coaching, Wade Gilbert’s book, Coaching Better Every Season, is not for you. However, if you are like my former coach John Wooden, who improved his coaching every year until his retirement, this book will be most valuable, as it will provide a roadmap for your passionate pursuit of perfection.”
Swen Nater—Author and Former UCLA, NBA, and ABA Basketball Player
“Coaching Better Every Season iss a book is for all coaches truly committed to being better at their craft. Wade’s insights have provided me the guidance I need to stay focused on the things that really matter for coaching and performance improvement at the highest level. His approach and strategies have real-world, practical application for coaches around the world at all levels, from youth sport to those at the Olympic and national team level.”
Cameron Kiosoglous, PhD—US Rowing National Team Coach
“Coaching Better Every Season is a must read for any coach at any level seeking to build a championship program, positive team culture, and lasting tradition. It is a book you will want to continually refer to as a coach’s guide throughout each season.”
Jeffrey Huber, PhD—Indiana University, Big Ten, NCAA, USA, USOC Coach of the Year; 13-Time USA Diving National Coach of the Year
“For more than 20 years, Wade has been sharing his exceptional coaching knowledge and wisdom gleaned from his varied experiences as a teacher, researcher, and coach. He is a world-renowned expert in the coaching field, a scholar of extraordinary breadth, and a brilliant communicator. Wade brings to this book a marvelous blend of research, insights, and strategies about coaching that provide a master blueprint for building successful sport programs.”
Jean Côté, PhD—Professor and Director of School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University
“Dr. Gilbert’s research on coaching is the best coaching science we’ve got. He has studied, learned from, and collaborated with successful coaches around the world, including national, Olympic, and world championship coaches—and John Wooden himself. I highly recommend the book, which most certainly will have you Coaching Better Every Season."
Ronald Gallimore, PhD—Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCLA
"Coaching Better Every Season is the most comprehensive coaching book I have read. Dr. Gilbert has a knack for speaking and writing about the heart of coaching and leadership. It is a must read for any coach who wants to be successful and continually stay ahead of the game.”
Guy Krueger—Education and Training Manager at USA Archery
“In Coaching Better Every Season, Wade Gilbert masterfully incorporates the art and science of coaching into a system that promotes greatness. His book provides a clear and compelling road map for developing the people who are producing the results. If you are driven by your desire to help your athletes be their best, this book is for you.”
Ralph Pim, EdD—Sport Adviser and Team Consultant, Director of Competitive Sports (retired), United States Military Academy
"Working with Wade and applying the strategies he shares in Coaching Better Every Season has helped me set the vision and standards for our wrestling program."
Troy Steiner—Head Coach of Fresno State University Wrestling
"Coaching Better Every Season should be a mandatory read for all coaches. It presents the art and science of coaching, no matter the sport."
Chuck Kylee—Head Coach at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio; Two-Time USA Today High School Coach of the Year; Youth Football Advisor for the Cleveland Browns
“Internationally known coaching expert Wade Gilbert has the rare ability to link science and practice in creative ways for coaches, as shown in this book. The organization of pointers from preseason to off-season makes for an informative read for coaches.”
Robin S. Vealey, PhD—Professor and Graduate Director of the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Miami University
“Coaching Better Every Season articulates the role of coaches in building teams as centers of learning. Dr. Gilbert’s book is the perfect resource for those who desire sustainable programmatic success; it is a must read for coaches at every level.”
Jon LeCrone—Commissioner of the Horizon League
“I have had the pleasure of speaking to Wade Gilbert’s classes over the past eight years. I have watched him mentor and bring out the best in every student in his classes. Coaching Better Every Season is going to give every coach who uses this book the opportunity to coach better every day. Wade Gilbert knows how to use science and practical experience and bring them together. This book will help us all be better coaches to our athletes.”
Jeanne Fleck—Head Coach of Fresno State University Women’s Swimming and Diving
“I am fortunate enough to have worked with and learned from Dr. Wade Gilbert, and I consider my experience with him to be the most significant factor in my desire to return to coaching and pursue my first head coaching position. In Coaching Better Every Season, Wade delves deep into his subject matter while keeping it relatable and applicable to coaches of all levels. The concepts and strategies he shares have bolstered my ability to build and sustain a successful program, with success defined by so much more than wins and losses. Reflecting upon the totality of experiences I’ve had in my sport and profession, I truly believe that the knowledge and tools provided in Coaching Better Every Season have been paramount to my development as a coach.”
Breanne Nasti—Head Coach of Women’s Softball and Assistant Athletic Director at Adelphi University
“I have been extremely fortunate to reconnect with and work alongside Dr. Wade Gilbert. He has provided me with a wealth of invaluable knowledge that I share regularly in my interactions with coaches and athletic directors. His acute insights on what it takes to become a better coach, and a better person, and to build a legacy through a better program are exactly why every coach should read this book.”
Pat Riddlesprigger—Athletic Manager at Fresno Unified School District
“Dr. Wade Gilbert provides a perfect blend of research-based information, front-line coaching applications, and compelling examples throughout his book. Coaching Better Every Season is a major contribution to the education and practice of coaches.”
John Bales—President of the International Council for Coaching Excellence
“I have had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Gilbert for over 15 yearrs as both a high school coach and athletic director. Dr. Gilbert has the unique ability to present current research in the field of coach and athlete development and demonstrate how that research can be applied in the real world of everyday coaching. Over the last five years, Wade has been an integral part of rebuilding the athletics program at Fresno High School. The results have been both dramatic and measurable; we now have a system in place that allows us to use data, athlete feedback, and competitive indicators to measure the status of each sport program. Simply put, Wade provided us with the tools that changed the culture of our entire athletics program. With Coaching Better Every Season, you can too.”
David Barton—Athletic Director at Fresno High School
“Unquestionably one of the best coaching books out there from one of the finest minds. I wish a book like this had been available when I started coaching 20-plus years ago!”
Sergio Lara-Bercial, PhD—Senior Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University; International Council for Coaching Excellence
All ancillaries are free to adopting instructors through HKPropel.Test package. Create your own tests and quizzes. Choose from more than 300 multiple-choice test questions.
Instructor guide with student worksheets. Provides a blueprint for leading in-class discussions and structured activities surrounding coaching concepts and situations highlighted in the text. Offers a library of learning activities to incorporate into your instruction. Includes 150 printable forms, self-assessments, checklists, and evaluations to use in class or as outside assignments.
Presentation package plus image bank. Features over 340 full-color slides that highlight the most important concepts and select figures and tables from the book, plus most of the figures and tables from the text, sorted by chapter. Images can be used to develop a customized presentation based on specific course requirements.
Difficult to read. The text is basic and just rambles on and on. I could not read more than a few pages at a time due to boredom.