As teams finish their season, we want to help provide some valuable tools, which will launch your program into next season. One of the hardest things for coaches to do, is to turn off their competitive spirit, drop the ego, and effectively self-evaluate. We found a great tool, which is pulled from the book, “The Culture Code,” by Daniel Coyle. An After Action Review (AAR) is used by the U.S. Army to deliver feedback after unit training exercises. The purpose of the AAR is to identify issues, find areas for improvement, and obtain lessons learned. So, how does this relate to your team? The answer to this, is found in the questions associated with the AAR. Take a look at the questions below, and think about your basketball season.
After Action Review Questions
What were our intended results?
What were our actual results?
What caused our results?
What will do we do the same next time?
What will we do differently?
We recommend that you follow this process, in using the AAR questions to evaluate your season.
- If you are the Head Coach, answer these questions by yourself. Do not share your answers with anyone else, but make sure to keep a copy.
- Get your coaching staff together, and have them work together to answer the questions. Have someone document their answers, so you can use them later.
- Have your players work together to answer the AAR questions. This should happen without guidance from the coaches. Simply give them the questions, and let them document their responses. These are group responses, not individual responses from each player.
At the end of these After Action Reviews, the Head Coach has a nice collection of information, which can be used to begin productively planning for next season.
The AAR will provide you with the WHYs, which can lead to the HOWs, and this information will help you effectively plan for next season’s success.