Over this month I have been busy planning 2024 and although I have been running the programme for years, as you can imagine, there is a lot of work that goes into it but why is planning important?
Planning is crucial for several reasons, and it plays a fundamental role in personal, professional, and organisational success. As parents and adults, we must plan, as there is so much going on and with kids to manage it’s impossible without thinking ahead BUT how often do the kids plan?
I have a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old that don't know what they are doing in the next hour, let alone what’s happening in the the next day, but this is something they need to get better at. I was the same until I started coaching at 16 years old and then I had to plan my lessons around homework and other activities. This was in the good old days of the Filofax
I am fully aware that my kids need to plan but for them to understand why, here are some key reasons:
1. Goal setting
Planning helps in setting clear goals and objectives. It provides a roadmap for where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Clearly defined goals provide direction and purpose, helping you stay focused on the priorities. If a player wants to achieve a goal, there has to be a plan, otherwise there is no direction. What are your child’s goals and what do they need to do to achieve them? I’m sure this would be an interesting exercise if you sat them down.
2. Resource allocation
Planning allows for efficient allocation of resources, including time, money, and personnel. By identifying the necessary resources in advance, it helps in preventing waste and ensuring that resources are used effectively to achieve the desired outcomes.
3. Risk management
Planning involves considering potential challenges and uncertainties. By anticipating risks and developing strategies to mitigate them, planning helps proactively address potential obstacles and minimise negative impacts.
Planning provides a structured framework for decision-making. It allows for a systematic evaluation of alternatives and helps in choosing the most appropriate course of action. This reduces the likelihood of impulsive or haphazard decision-making.
5. Time Management
Planning helps people manage their time effectively. It enables the prioritisation of tasks and activities, ensuring that time is allocated to the most important and high-priority activities.
6. Coordination and Collaboration
When working with others, planning facilitates coordination amongst the team. It ensures that everyone is working towards common goals and that activities are synchronised to achieve optimal results.
7. Measuring Progress
Planning provides a baseline for measuring progress. By establishing benchmarks and milestones, you can track the performance and make necessary adjustments to stay on track.
8. Motivation and Focus
Setting specific goals and creating a plan to achieve them provides motivation and a sense of purpose. It helps individuals and teams stay focused on their objectives, even during challenging times.
While planning provides a structured approach, it also allows for adaptability. A well-thought-out plan should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in circumstances or unexpected developments.
10. Efficiency and Productivity
Planning contributes to efficiency and productivity by reducing wasted time and resources. When tasks are organised and prioritised, individuals can work more systematically and achieve better results.
Planning involves communication of goals, expectations, and responsibilities. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands their role in achieving the overall objectives.
12. Continuous Improvement
Planning is an iterative process that allows for continuous improvement. Through regular reviews and adjustments, you can refine their plans based on feedback and changing circumstances.
In summary, planning is a foundational activity that provides direction, structure, and purpose. It is an essential tool for achieving success, whether as an individual or as a group.
There are many ways you can start to help your child develop planning skills through tennis, for example, planning what to put in their kit bags, what tournaments they are going to play, what their training schedule looks like and what their goals are to improve. Many parents do a lot of this for their children, but I can’t see any reason why parents can’t do all of this with their child and involve them. Once they know what to do, you can then start to watch them do it and eventually they will do it on their own.
This could be a big transition but start with something like getting their kit bag ready for the next day and then build it from there.
Director of Tennis