Introduction for first time coaches

Within Australian junior basketball clubs, there is a lack of qualified coaches. It seems with each new generation of children the game becomes more and more popular, and many a parent with any semblance of a basketball background is asked to coach. Many times having another sporting background, or a willingness to coach is enough to be asked to do the role!

Easy Hoops Shop is proud to present a series of quick, easy to disgust articles that will help coaches who find themselves in this situation. As part of our introductory post we will cover some basics that frame your role to keep in mind before you get to the technical aspects of coaching basketball.

Your role

Over twenty years of coaching basketball I have found two principles that I use to frame my junior coaching experience:

Principle # 1: Make sure players improve every time they interact with me

A Michael Jordan level understanding of the game isn't required to meet this goal, but rather a knowledge of universal fundamentals, and a willingness to communicate that knowledge to players in a way that will be receptive to it.

This principle isn't a goal in itself, but rather is a big gift to children when done successfully. A child that is improving in their skills becomes more confident on court, and soon as their team-mates notice the improvement and pass to that child more a snowball effect of confidence occurs. I have seen many times where a child who lacks belief in their own ability turns around their confidence level not only on court but within their friendship groups and outlook on life.

Principle # 2: Make sure the players have fun

It seems obvious, but many coaches get caught up in the emphasis on winning and push players too hard. Everyone who has ever picked up a basketball, has picked it up for fun. Some players are ultimate competitors and some aren't, either way make sure that all players are having fun and have a healthy love of the sport.

Other pointers

Check your ego at the door

Most players won't be professionals and neither will most coaches. Your role is not to prove to everyone how much you know the game, but to help the players improve and enjoy their basketball. One way I like to do this is that when I am lucky enough to coach a team that wins a title, I give my winner's trophy away. Sometimes to a player's younger brother or sister who may have helped during the season with small acts such as helping on the scorebench. This is a tip I learnt from Brian Goorjian, who is the most successful coach in Australia's National Basketball League history.

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