Prior to the start of the season, I have the Spiders complete a personal inventory. The purpose is to have them look internally at what they do well and don’t do well and put some goals and actionable steps in writing.
I have a meeting with each of the boys after they’ve completed their personal inventory to go over their answers. Sometimes we make updates to provide more clarity, making sure there’s a good plan in place.
Let’s take a closer look at what we do. It may give you some ideas on how you can apply it to your own team.
Here’s an example of our actual Personal Inventory document.Spiders Personal Inventory - 2020
I give the boys several days to complete this document and get it back to me. They are allowed to sit down with their parents if necessary.
Now, let’s go step-by-step to discuss what we’re trying to accomplish.
It’s important to boil this down to a single strength, rather than watering it down with two or three. What is the one thing that you are best at?
This is an attempt to help the player understand how best he can help the team.
We’re not looking to stress the negatives. But everyone has something they can improve. What’s the one thing that you need the most work at?
It’s helpful to acknowledge this. No matter how good you are and how well-rounded, there’s always a weakness.
Plan to Improve Weakness
But, we aren’t just focusing on the weakness to humble the player. We are trying to help him put together a plan to become a better, all-around player.
The three things listed here need to be specific action items. It can’t just be “practice harder.” Here are some examples:
- Take 50 extra ground balls once per week after practice
- Make 50 pitches into a target once per week on my own time
- Break down video to find where I need to improve my swing
Once in writing, we can hold the player accountable.
3. Team Goals
We’re looking for specific goals that can be tracked. It can’t be vague things like “Play the best we can” or “Be good teammates.” These need to be measurable.
- Win the state tournament
- Win at least three tournaments
- Win at least one game on every bracket day
4. Personal Goals
Like the team goals, these items need to be measurable. We need to avoid things like “Be a good hitter” or “Pitch strikes.” We need specifics so that the players can determine whether they reached their goals. What does that success look like?
- Have an OBP over .500
- Throw at least 60% strikes
- Win the Money Chain at least three times
5. Ways I Can Be a Leader
I added this because leadership isn’t always easy to find. Sometimes it’s because the players don’t clearly see what leadership looks like. I want them thinking about specific things that they can be doing to be a good leader.
Unlike the last few, this is less measurable. But it’s good that they put in writing the things they will focus on to be a leader.
I file these away, and we then have another meeting around midseason to chart progress. Have your strengths and weaknesses changed? What is your progress towards improving your weakness? How close are we to accomplishing your goals? Are you fulfilling your vision of a leader?
End of Season Meeting
Admittedly, we don’t typically do a final meeting to discuss where everything came out. But you absolutely could!
You can take whatever you want to apply to your team. Are you doing any of this already? Anything we’re missing in our personal inventory?
Let me know in the comments below!