Youth basketball seasons are beginning or on the verge of starting in many places. If you’re new to coaching, the idea of facing 10 youngsters in a gym for the first time might make you a little nervous. Here are a 10 things you should be thinking about as a youth basketball coach as the season begins.
1.) Solicit the help of a couple good assistant coaches. Assistant coaches, not only serve as back-up if you’re late or can’t make a practice, but they also make things go smoother when you’re there. With 2 assistants, the teacher-student ratio is greatly improved. Also, give thought to what parent might help you with some of the administrative aspects of coaching a team.
2.) Identify some solid basketball reference sites that you can visit to get ideas on basketball drills, instruction, plays and more. A couple of my favorites are: Coaches Clipboard and Breakthrough Basketball.
3.) Pick your favorite team name and slogan. Sports Feel Good Stories is an excellent source for ideas.
4.) Develop your overall practice plan. What are you going to teach and when are you going to teach it? Individual and team defense are excellent places to start. If you can keep a team from scoring easily, your team can stay in most game.
5.) Make some contacts with coaches from neighboring communities. Before your first tournament, you might want to scrimmage a team to put some of your practice learnings to the test. Identify the coaches from local community basketball websites and determine their interest level in setting up scrimmages for a later date.
6.) Create a website for your team. There are many services available.
7.) Set objectives for the kind of season you’d like to have and for the kind of coach you’d like to be. Define some of the keys to your approach during practices and during games.
8.) Go over your expectations with your players and your players’ parents in separate meetings. The best time to get everyone on the same page is at the start of the season.
9.) Read a good book on coaching. Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court is one I highly recommend for youth basketball coaches.
10.) Be yourself and keep in mind the big picture. It’s not about the won-loss record. Plan a season where kids learn and have fun along the way.