Growing up I played a lot of basketball and whilst I may never have really had a shot at the big leagues, I absolutely loved the game and I knew it would always stay with me. Once I graduated from college and got a ‘real’ job, I still wanted to be involved in basketball and so I began coaching a few different levels. I was inspired to coach because of the inspirational David M Giunta, my old basketball coach at Elyria Catholic in Ohio, coach Giunta was more than a successful coach, he was a great man and someone who really influenced me.
If you have dreams as I did of becoming a basketball coach, here are the skills that you will need.
The first step of course is to have a thorough and complete understanding of the game of basketball, strategies, tactics and plays. You don’t need to be an expert in the field if you are looking to coach at lower league level, but you do need to have a solid grasp of the game.
I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to scream when coaching basketball but thankfully I am someone who can reserve their patience, and you need to be able to as well. Students of the game will earn at different speeds, they may not always get things right and they most certainly will test your patience, it is up to you to keep your cool and set a good example.
Being a great basketball coach is about far more than just understanding and coaching the game itself, it is also about instilling values. Through basketball many people can learn a great deal about themselves, about loyalty, commitment and trust within their team, it is up to you to show them how to believe in these values.
Even if you are teaching young kids to play basketball, you need to be driven and hungry for success and you need to show that to your team. As with any team, it is up to the leader to be the driving force behind everything that they do and with your dedication and commitment, you will need to be that person.
Believe it or not, he role that I most have to adopt with my young team is that of the parent and it is vital that you are empathetic and can offer a listening ear whenever it is needed. These young boys and girls may be going through issues that they don’t want to tell their parents about and you’ll be amazed at just how many of them look to you as their coach for support and advice. Closing the door and telling people that you aren’t prepared to listen to them, is going to have a hugely negative impact on your team.
Basketball coaching is a rewarding job and one which you should definitely take on if you love the game.