Developing Complete Players
As a basketball coach, I credit my knowledge of the teaching the game to my high school coach. I also have learned a ton from studying other coaches practice, watching how they prepare before a game, and getting as much knowledge as possible from basketball seminars and/or books on how to become a better coach, and making sure I stay informed on techniques that effectively work on kids today.
One of the toughest things to learn is how to motivate the kids today. I’ve learned that I have to stay on top of finding new ways to keep them going. My current team may not be as talented as a lot of the other teams, so I focus on making them better using effective (and fun) drills and emphasizing the fundamentals, and I spend a lot less time focusing on wins and losses. I take pride in teaching these kids on how to become better players, better students, and better people.
It’s extremely satisfying to watch how they improve from the beginning of the season to the end of the season and to see the differences in their desire and passion on doing things correctly. I had one kid bruise his cheek by bumping into a screen that he didn’t’ see…. and then apologize to the kid for bumping him. When I asked why he apologized, he said because “the kid is in his class.” That made me proud.
So, I made a list of what I think are the top 4 most important key traits on how to develop good players:
#1. Create great habits. Do everything perfect and the right way.
#2. Keep your workouts simple. Emphasize technique and execution rather than dazzle them with fancy stuff. Fundamentals never die and will always impress the coach.
#3. Be a student of repetitions. You can never get enough reps in. Instead of seeing how many shots you can make out of 10, shoot until you make 10. It may take longer, but it will be effective and come tournament time, you will not regret shooting those extra shots. Which leads me to one last bonus trait…..
#4. Sell your kids on “no regrets.” The harder they work, the more confidence they will have in themselves and the better they will be. The kids who do the most improving are the ones who take advantage of the times in between practices and games.
I don’t have a lot of talent on my team, and I may not win any championships this year….. but I bet my team is the most fundamentally sound team in the league.
I’ve never tried to create a “program of players” but rather a program for“player development.” That is why, even duing the times when I have a losing record, I take pride in focusing on player development and making kids better.