When you become a youth basketball coach at any level, you are tasked with the mission of shaping the foundation of their basketball careers. You are also given the opportunity to have an impact on their childhood and teenage years, which can make being a coach all that much worth it.
Much like you want your players to give it 110% every time they step foot on the court, you’re expected to give it your all as a coach — and that will require a very keen set of qualities that only the greatest coaches to take advantage of. Let’s take a look at what some of those qualities are.
Practicing What You Preach
Players will find it much easier to get behind a coach that practices what he preaches. They expect you to lead by example so they can see how things are done. This can include anything from how you act towards the fans, the opposing team, the refs, how you handle victory, defeat, and even how you respond as a team when things aren’t going right.
Coaches need to know these answers so they can pave the way for their players and maximize their ceiling by dropping any limits.
Never Stop Learning
Basketball is a game that can always be better, much like any other sport out there. Even on your best night, there will be things your team could’ve done differently, a play they didn’t score on, or a turnover they committed. After all, your team likely won’t shoot 100% and commit 0 turnovers in a game (hats off to you if that’s accomplished).
As a coach, it’s your duty to always study the game and continue to improve your own skills. It will only make you a more effective teacher and to the last point, it will resonate to the rest of your team. Everyone wins!
Without a strategy or plan in place, your team will never get anywhere. Using the last point to hone your skills, create an effective strategy for your team. Research the opposing teams, figure out matchups, how you want to attack, or play defense. Especially in younger teams, they likely won’t have the skills to do this themselves.
More than just putting a strategy together, you’ll need to know how to get it through to the rest of your team. Put it in terms they can understand, they’ll appreciate it and the entire team will grow as a result.
Make the Game Fun For Everyone
Lastly, it’s the ultimate goal of all your efforts — ensuring the youth are able to enjoy and have fun playing the game they love. It’s your job to not only bring out that burning passion they have for the game, but you also want to bring out that inner child that just wants to have fun.
Being a coach is finding a balance between learning, playing, and growing as an individual. We all know the benefits youth sports present to a community and the benefits involved in practices, games, tournaments, and everything else in-between.