Each coach must develop his/her own coaching philosophy, or system of beliefs and ideas. When interviewing for a coaching position, the question almost always comes up, "What is your coaching philosophy?" Here are some thoughts. Part II of this subject will be in the next newsletter.
Be yourself. It's very important that whatever your style of coaching, be yourself. I mean this especially in your temperament. Don't try to copy some famous coach whose tempermant and style is nothing like your own. Whatever your style, be agreeable and, without compromising your principles, be someone that is easy to work with... you have to relate to players, administration, faculty, parents, assistants, opposing coaches and players, officials, fans, etc.
Your teaching style. Coaching basketball is teaching... teaching not only fundamentals, how to play the game, and team skills, etc., but also life skills. Be well-prepared for practices and games. Encourage players. Be positive. Whatever your style, have a passion for the game.
Be organized. You are the leader and must be organized. A disorganized coach imparts this disorganization and a sub-standard approach to the entire program. Everything must be organized... your practices, game routines, schedules, year-end banquet, team camps... essentially your entire program.
Be open, learn from others. All great coaches have learned what they know from other coaches and players. Don't take the attitude that you already know everything. To become a better coach, be humble and eager to learn from others. Like players, coaches should "be coachable". Attend coaching clinics and camps. View basketball DVD's. Go to games or watch games on TV and listen to the commentators. Read basketball books. Assistants should try to learn everything they can from their head coach.
Impact young people. You are in a position to be a real positive, important person in the lives of each of your players... never lose site of this. Teach by your example and how you treat others. Be a person of integrity. Treat all players with respect and make them all feel important as individuals and members of the team. Help develop character, not "characters". The coach-player relationship is a vital cornerstone to successful coaching.
Communicate with your players as a group and one-on-one, and maintain an "open door" policy.
Yelling at Players. You never want to embarrass a player during a game in front of his parents, friends, the fans, etc. Games are for players. In practice, behind closed doors, it is your classroom. I personally believe coaches can yell at players in practice, not to belittle them, but to get them to compete harder and become better players.
Set rules and maintain discipline. But don't have too many rules that you will later regret. Kids will violate the rules... they always have and always will! Be prepared to handle these things in a fair manner. But don't paint yourself into a corner by being overly inflexible. Don't make a hasty decision or comment... first find out all of the details of what happened, the school's policy, and get the advice of your athletic director before making a decision.
Part II of this topic will be in the next newsletter. In the meantime, see... Coaching Philosophy