As coaches, many of us stop and reflect at the end of a season. It’s a time to think about our choices, our mistakes, our lessons, and our successes. It’s one of the most valuable things you can do with your time because reflection is the best way we learn.

If you want to improve year after year, it takes deep and honest reflection. Otherwise, you just copy and paste your season and hope for a better result. (If you would like guidance and 20 questions for an end-of-season reflection, I’ve got you covered here.)

What is surprising to me, is how very few of us stop to ask our captains to formally reflect on the season. If you do an exit interview, that’s a great start. But even better, ask them to take time on their own to write up their answers to specific questions that you can hold on to and use to shape your future team.

Talking one-on-one with a graduating senior is an essential part of growth as a coach and a team. However, there is something special and unique in asking your captains to reflect on their own leadership journey as well. That kind of reflection will not only help you as a coach, it will be an incredible gift for your captains to learn more about themselves and the skills they’ve gained through leading your program. This is especially true if you have captains who are returning for another season. Never let them start the next year as a leader without spending time reflecting on the past year!

captain questions

Whether you ask your captains to return this packet to you or keep it private, consider this your last great act as their coach. You’re teaching them the power of reflection. You are showing them the immense pleasure you receive from sitting down and writing out the things that made you happiest, the things you are grateful for, and the lessons you’ve learned. I promise, it’s a document they will treasure for years.

There is so much to learn…

However, they are still teenagers and young adults. Therefore it may be something that they have the best of intention to complete, but it ends up collecting dust on their nightstand. So I recommend asking them to complete it and bring it to you at your end-of-the-year banquet. Or set up a special coffee date with your graduating captains. Bring it in and ask them to share some of it with you. There is a lot you can learn as a coach by listening to their favorite moments and hardest lessons. It will make you a better coach in the future, and help you better prepare next year’s leaders.

Captain Question Ideas

  1. Describe last season in 3 words
  2. What single achievement are you most proud of?
  3. Discuss your favorite thing/event/part of last season. Why was it special?
  4. What experience or event represents the worst of last year? Why was it a challenge?
  5. What could you have done differently during this difficult time? 

You can come up with as many questions as you would like! If it’s helpful, there’s a whole lot more waiting for you in the Coach’s Roadmap!

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