During the period leading up to a tournament a player may be involved in another team or may be in an “off season” break. In either event, the coach should arrange to keep in contact with the athletes prior to the tournament.

The coach should keep in contact with athletes to:

  • Check on their fitness, particularly to understand the progress of any injury rehabilitation or treatment for illness;
  • Ensure that the player understands what role the coach wants them to play with the team at the tournament;
  • Information about the tournament (e.g. game schedule, accommodation arrangements, travel arrangements etc) – often this may be provided by a team manager.

Whilst social media can be an effective way to keep in contact it is often better for the coach to regularly speak with them as this will help to build a rapport with the player. This may also be shared between the head coach and their assistant coaches, although many players prefer to have contact with the head coach.

Prior to the tournament, the coach may also share technical information with their players, such as:

  • A “playbook” of what strategies and tactics the team will use at the tournament;
  • Scouting information on likely opponents (both teams and players);
  • With senior athletes, the coach may seek their input into team tactics or scouting.