While each level of basketball coaching is unique, there are specific issues to which most coaches can relate and information that is useful to help them achieve their full potential as a coach and accomplish their team-related goals. It is always a good idea to talk to other coaches and tap into local or online resources to help a coach improve his or her game. There are also several things to keep in mind that should be avoided at all costs when coaching a basketball practice.
Avoid Making Assumptions During Practice
Basketball practices serve multiple purposes, such as helping a team condition and stay in shape for their season. It is also the perfect setting for reviewing the fundamentals of the game to help each player improve their skill level. One of the biggest mistakes a coach can make during practice is to assume that the players know everything they are expected to know.
Making assumptions undoubtedly lead to disappointment on both sides. The coach who is assuming a player already knows how to execute a skill or understands a concept is likely to be disappointed if the player doesn’t come through. Players will also be disappointed for two reasons. First, they might feel like they have let their coach down and failed their teammates if they didn’t know something the coach assumed they knew. Furthermore, a player may be disappointed in himself or herself for not producing the type of result that his or her coach expected.
Never Base Coaching Decisions or Actions on Anger
Anger is a natural human emotion. During basketball practice, one player might get angry at another. Coaches get mad, too. What is most important regarding a coach getting angry is how they process that anger and react to it. Emotions can be intense during a challenging practice. A good coach strives to always be in control of his or her feelings.
A coach must be able to make rational decisions under pressure. It is not suitable for the team as a whole or an individual player if a coach acts out of anger, such as benching a player out of spite. It is not realistic to expect a coach never to feel angry. However, it is necessary for a coach to know how to handle anger and run a practice based on fairness and level-headed thinking. A short temper or an angry outburst may not only ruin a basketball practice, but it can also ruin an entire season because players take their cues from their leader, and acting out of anger isn’t going to help anyone accomplish their athletic goals.
Don’t Show Up to Coach Basketball Practice Without a Plan
There’s an old saying that says to practice like you play, or you’ll wind up playing as you practice. Every basketball practice serves a purpose in helping each player achieve his or her full potential and help the team as a whole accomplish their goals for the season. If a coach doesn’t have a specific plan, practice will lack the structure, routine, and regimens that are integral components of success in basketball or any other sport.
If a coach is unprepared for practice, it becomes difficult to build upon previous sessions by noting what goes well and what needs more work. A coach can create this week’s plan for practice based on last week’s successes and failures. If they don’t arrive at each practice with a plan, a coach will have trouble setting a standard and expecting a team to be organized and well-prepared.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Whether it’s talking about the custom jerseys that will be handed out at the next practice or laughing together when something funny happens on the court, basketball is a game, and games are meant for fun. A coach who doesn’t encourage his or her players to have fun during practice is making a big mistake.
All work and no play is not the best way to coach a team. If a coach forgets to encourage players to have fun, it eventually crushes their spirit and may even make some players want to quit the team. Coaches who remember to avoid these four mistakes during basketball practice will be well on their way to a successful season.