More specifically I want to be a coach for basketball.  A coach who teaches basketball basics for all of his players.  No actually basketball basics to anyone who will listen.  Basics or maybe I should say fundamentals mean so much in the game of basketball.  Without good fundamentals you will never be a great player.  

What do I Need to Be a Good Coach?

Maybe the most important quality you need as a coach is to be teachable.  To actually never stop learning the game.  Once you come to the place where you feel you have arrived, your on your way to being a bad coach.  A good coach is always learning and growing.  A good coach is watching other more experienced coaches and learning why they do what they do.  A good coach has strong self esteem, good character, and good communication skills.  A good coach will realize his main job is teaching.  A good coach works to develops players he does not just worry about winning games.

Am I a Basketball Dummy?

This week after reading an article from a well known trainer I realized how little I know about the game of basketball.  I instantly started researching offenses, defenses, and when to use what.  In the article a coach was asked: Can you explain how to manipulate a guard trying to down a angled ball screen to attack at a 45? Can you give me 4-5 options off of a horns set? What are 2 secondary reads off a floppy set? To be honest it sure made my head spin, but more than that it made me realize that there is so much I just don’t know.  Maybe I am a basketball dummy, but then again maybe they’re needs to be a little basketball dummy in all coaches to keep us motivated to keep on learning and growing.  

For those of us who are coaching basketball we need to ask ourselves one simple question. WHY?  Why are we coaching?  The answer to that question is going to change depending on who you are.  Some will coach because they love the game and want to be around it.  Some might say they are coaching basketball because they played, basketball gave them so much and they want to give back.  For others it might be that they want to coach their kids.  But what about you, why are you coaching?

No matter what the reason, one thing is for certain if you are coaching kids you need to be coaching for them.  Coaching so that they learn good fundamentals.  Coaching so that they will have the skills they need later on, if they chose to continue playing.  Coaches need to make sure that they don’t just  make winning their purpose.

Make Fundamentally Sound Players

Over the years as an athletic director I have been able to watch numerous coaches coach kids of all ages from super young to varsity age.  The biggest mistake I watch inexperienced coaches make, is to look at a child and put them in a position based solely on their size.  They teach them that position for the season at hand and never teach them anything else.  Which is a total shame, and can be damaging.  Kids all grow differently some shoot up really early in life, others may not grow till later in life.  It’s a shame when a young child who has shot up quickly in height, is placed in a center position simply because he is taller than anyone else.  Then is treated like an NBA post player.  They are told I don’t want you dribbling the ball.  Yet later on in High School when they haven’t grown much more they are short and at best guard size.  Now what do they do, they don’t have the skills they should have been taught earlier.  It’s not about winning at the moment, it’s about the kids.  If it is about the kids and teaching them solid fundamentals, then the winning will come.  

What is Your Purpose

For me that’s an easy question to answer, college!  I have players who one day would like to play in college, so I am trying to coach in such away that college is a possibility for them if they are truly willing to work.  Not everyone is willing to work for it, but for those who are, then I want to give them what they need to succeed.