Video: Top 5 Hits of the Week // Week 15
Showing highlights of the season is a good way for players to enjoy your banquet.
The season is over. And if you haven't already started planning for it, the banquet planning is right around the corner. If you have coached for any length of time, you've been to great banquets, and you've been to less desirable banquets.
Here are 4 Keys To A Great Banquet1. Length
Your banquet running time should not be longer than the number of wins you had! Unless you won a State Championship, or had the best season in school history, try hard to keep your audience wanting more, not dying to get out of there. Let's not have a three-hour banquet for a 3-7 team!
One of the keys to keeping the banquet timely is to make sure your coaches are prepared. I model this to them by having a meeting, and letting them know what is appropriate and not appropriate to discuss. I've always written my thoughts down about each player I'm going to say something about on an index card. 2. Quadruple check your rosters and awards
There is nothing worse than forgetting about a kid! I've been there. A JV kid about 10 years ago. I felt awful, really awful. And I pride myself on organization, but we simply missed him. Long and short of it was that he wasn't on the roster that we used to create the awards. The family moved to our school from out of state, and so he started football about a month late. The parents did understand this explanation when I called them that Monday after the banquet, but it didn't do anything to help their anger and the kid's frustration on the night of the banquet. I hate that he went home empty handed. 3. Use the school's master roster for name accuracy
When you have awards printed, either participation certificates, or MVP trophies, make sure to double check your roster's spelling of names against your school's master roster, or database system. I made this error my first year of being an athletic director. I had awards created from the rosters that my head coaches gave me without double checking their names anywhere. My goodness, we had about nine athletes at our Fall Sports Banquet with wrong certificates and or trophies. If you're a head varsity coach, make sure your frosh and JV rosters are accurate spelling wise. Don't trust that the rosters are correct.4. Keep it moving
Let's face it, the only person who wants to be at your banquet until midnight is the MVP walking away with three plaques. Outside of that, nobody wants to be there for very long. That length really should be determined by how many players you have. I once sat through a three-hour tennis banquet for nine players, brutal.
There are ways to expedite your banquet that you need to think critically through. If you're serving a meal, the No. 1 way is to start the banquet presentation as people are getting their food. Don't spend an hour of your banquet feeding everybody. I've seen coaches do this. You can save a whole lot of time by starting things as the food is being served, even if the people have to get up and get their food, most folks will be respectful because they appreciate that you are moving things along.
Another food related time saving trick: organize the tables in such a way that people can go down BOTH sides of the serving tables. If it takes 40 minutes to move 200 people through the serving lines, you can get that done in 20 minutes by utilizing both sides of the tables. It surprises me how many coaches don't think of this. Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.