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  • Bill Vasko

First 30/60/90 Days on the Job – Creating a Plan for Success When Becoming a Head Coach

Updated: Jan 3

When obtaining a role as a head coach, you will want to develop a plan of your top priorities once you get started in your new position. This allows the administration to see that you have a well thought out plan for getting started immediately. You can have a 30-day document, a 60-day document, or a 90-day document. Ideally, you would have a document that is a 90-day document broken down into 30-day segments.

Creating a 30-60-90 day plan provides a clear focus for your first 90 days on the job and ensures that your daily actions will be productive. It will also allow you to develop defined goals for yourself and the program after you are hired. You’ll set goals that you want to achieve within each of these time frames and plan out exactly how you intend to accomplish these goals.

When creating this plan, remember to keep your goals realistic and attainable. Your goals should become increasingly more in-depth with each milestone so that you are able to accomplish more by the 90-day mark. The goals you set should align with the school’s overall mission.

Elements of a 30-60-90 Day Plan

Before you’re ready to map out the details of your 30-60-90 plan, you’ll want to think about the elements it needs to include. For each 30-day time frame, you’ll need to:

  • Determine a specific focus

  • Set your top priorities

  • Develop goals that support those priorities

  • Determine how you’ll measure success

Use the following elements to plan for each of the first three months:


A focus is a general area that needs your attention during that time frame.

Typically, the first 30 days of a new position focuses on learning.

The second 30 days focuses on planning.

The third time frame focuses on execution of your vision and initiating change.


Within each 30-day time frame, outline your high-level priorities for each period. For instance, your priorities could include learning internal processes, or proposing solutions to problems facing the program. Your priorities should be more specific than your focuses, but broader than your goals.


Setting goals is about making a plan for how you’ll achieve your priorities. For each period, set goals that build upon your focuses and priorities. You may want to organize your goals into categories like learning, performance, and personal goals.


For each goal, define at least one metric you’ll use to track your progress. Ask yourself, “What does success look like and how will I measure it?”

Building Your 30-60-90 Day Plan

1. Draft a template

Your template should have space for your goals for 30, 60 and 90 days, plus space to detail the specific action you will utilize to achieve your goals.

2. Identify 30-day targets

Dedicate the first 30 days on the job to learning about the school and your specific role. Your 30-day goals will be more personal since you’ll still be learning the systems, processes, and protocols of your new school. You will also need to become acquainted with the faculty, staff, administrators, and other important stakeholders you’ll be working with. This initial period is also important for hiring staff if you have been hired as a head coach.

3. Identify 60-day targets

The goals you choose for the 60-day time frame will depend more on your position and the specific needs of the program. This is where you will make the biggest impact in implementing your philosophies and culture. Identify goals related to implementing your vision. These goals rely on implementing the knowledge gained during the first 30 days as well as your specific philosophies and values.

4. Identify 90-day targets

The final 30 days typically focus on establishing your plan for long-term projects and initiatives for your program.

5. Define goals and a plan of action

Determine your goals for each period and lay out a specific plan of action to accomplish those goals. Create a list of action items that can be used to assess whether you have met your goals. It's important for these objectives to be measurable and achievable.

Tips for Creating Your 30-60-90 Day Plan

You’ll need to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that you will face as the leader of your new program and determine how you can make a positive impact within the first 90 days. Here are a few tips to make that easier:

Be specific.

Keep the language in your plan specific and actionable. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time sensitive.

Make it easy to read.

Keep your 30-60-90-day plan detailed but brief. It's important for the plan to be easy to read. Your portfolio version should be one to two pages long. You can keep a more detailed version for yourself or for an interview (tailor it to that specific position).

Think big picture.

Before you start writing out specific goals and metrics, reflect on your overall priorities. Start with what’s important to you and work out from there. What are the things you’ll need to know to be successful? Every program will have specific problems that need to be addressed. What are those?

Be willing to learn and ask questions.

During your first 30 days, asking questions is critical. In order to set realistic goals and metrics, you’ll need an understanding of how things work at your new institution. Make that a focus of your first 30 days.

Understand the role of key stakeholders.

Also, during the first 30 days, you will want to set up meetings with every person who touches your program:

  • Administrators: Principal / President / Superintendent / Athletic Director

  • Other coworkers within your department

  • Current members of the previous staff

  • Current players

  • Any departments you’ll work with regularly (admissions, financial aid, guidance office, transportation, business office)

  • Any external stakeholders you’ll work with regularly (alums, donors, boosters)

In each meeting, you’ll want to learn everyone’s role within the institution and also get to know them as people. Ask questions about the school/program culture, internal processes, reporting structures, challenges, etc. It’s important to have these conversations before you make plans to change the way things are currently run.

Too often, a coach comes into their new role and wants to do things the way they were done at his/her previous institution. That can turn people off. Keep that in mind when developing your 30-60-90 day plan. You’ll want to learn how things are done at your new institution before making wholesale changes.

Be flexible.

Don’t worry if you don’t end up following the plan precisely. Every job is different, so tailor your plan based on what you know about the role and the institution but accept that it will likely change. Maintain a growth mindset. Prepare to adjust your goals and actions as needed. Learn and adapt from unsuccessful strategies and keep moving forward.

If you are a member of The Coaching Portfolio Guide, we have added several samples of 30-60-90 day action plans. If you are not a member, sign up today for just $49 and you will receive access to our library containing hundreds of sample portfolio documents!

If you need help with your coaching resume, your portfolio, or the interview process, be sure to sign up for one of our job prep packages at The Coaching Portfolio Guide! We provide services that assist with all aspects of the job search process for coaches. Click here to get started today!

Written By: Bill Vasko – CEO, XO Coach

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