I am an executive recruiter by day and High School Varsity Head Coach by afternoon.  I rub elbows with top level executives nationwide in the retail world.  I coach and speak to executives about their professional experience and how to effectively communicate their skill sets and successes in order to make them the best candidate for the job they are interviewing for.  I have coached hundreds of professionals, critiquing their resumes, improving their interview style, preparing them with potential questions and rehearsing answers.  I am a master interview preparer but when it came to preparing myself to interview for a Girls Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach role – I was terrified.  Scared stiff, actually.

I counseled with my boss, college teammates, fellow High School Varsity Coaches and college coach friends and acquaintances regarding strategy and preparation.  I took all of their advice and combined it with my own knowledge of executive recruiting to answer all of my questions.  The result: I got the job.

Q: How does one prepare for a Head Coach interview?

Prepare a coaching book, ideally a 3 ring binder including:

-Detailed practice plans with objectives and coaching notes, draw out your drills.

-Drawn out offensive and defensive strategies

-Offensive plays drawn out

-Goals and game plan for the season including: County / State Championship, highest GPA, implement a study hall for student athletes, create a relationship with teachers to ensure grade accountability, community service project to promote teamwork off the field.

-Letters of Recommendation

-Professional resume including ALL coaching experience

Talk to your friends who are coaches and players, pick their brains, talk to parents of student athletes you have coached – ask them what concerns they have for you coaching, they will have some and stress that you want to hear them to overcome them.  Create a coaching philosophy and write it down.

Q: What is the Athletic Director looking for?

An accountable, responsible, assertive individual, who is confident, articulate, strategic, plays by the rules and values sportsmanship.  Always speak and think in the best interest of the school.  Read the school’s mission statement and be sure your coaching philosophy is in alignment with that.  The AD wants strong student-athletes and he wants a coach who will be there long-term, not one season.

Q: Who will I be going up against?

You may be going up against another Varsity Head Coach, the JV Coach, the Assistant Varsity Head Coach or a parent.  Whichever the case, do your homework on the other candidates and cater your strengths to eclipse their weaknesses.  Think strategically and be careful to NOT mention their names.  Any advertisement is good advertisement; do not waste your precious time in front of the panel by addressing your competition.  Take the high road and focus on yourself.

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