Aside from dominating a league, perhaps you should also consider coaching a team. The problem is that, young as you are, you may feel lost and uncertain about how to coach youth basketball teams. Whether a pro or amateur player, you will likely feel lost when just starting your coaching career.
Aside from reading youth basketball coaching books, learning from an actual coach is the best way. If you don’t have a network of people working in the industry, this blog will elaborate on how to jumpstart your coaching career successfully.
What Does it Mean to Be a Youth Basketball Coach?
It does not require any experience to know that being a coach entails several responsibilities—from strategizing game plans for each game to nurturing the potential of a player. The duties of a coach are extensive and significant, which makes it an ideal job for people with both athletic and intellectual talent.
When you are a youth basketball coach, you must not just implement basketball coaching drills but also possess leadership abilities. The simple answer is that being a youth basketball coach means you are a professional who comes up with a strategy for a youth basketball team.
Check the points below with different definitions and interpretations of being a youth basketball coach.
- Man Behind Each Game
You are expected to provide instructions to a youth player in an attempt to gain an advantage in a basketball match. It means that your expertise is the man behind a game and your command is the first and last instruction that players should uphold.
- Nurture Good Character
Aside from administering offensive and defensive tactics, youth basketball coaching jobs involve inculcating discipline and ensuring the character development of the players. You are not just a professional who deals with on-the-court strategies but also a leader who motivates and inspires the team to become excellent people during and outside a match.
- Pre-professional League Stint
Being a coaching staff for a youth basketball team is an ideal avenue to gain experience before handling pro and professional players. Take amateur coaching avenues seriously if you wish to expand your horizons to national leagues.
Roles of Youth Basketball Coaches
As stipulated in the section above, the general responsibility of a youth basketball coach is to design sports strategies for a group of young basketball hopefuls. Becoming a professional coach for youth teams will deal with team plans and individual growth.
Nonetheless, the job of a youth basketball team coach encompasses beyond technical aspects. Perhaps you are still trying to decide whether the coaching profession is for you; check out the points below to see if you are born to thrive in the coaching side of basketball.
- Synthesis and Implementation of Sporting Strategies
Take the coaching profession as a mastermind of basketball endeavors. While winning a game relies on the ability of players to execute the game tactics properly, coming up with a plan is equally essential. Hence, the basketball team’s road to the championship is a collaborative effort, including the coaching staff’s off-the-court strategies.
- Team Practice Management
You can only make a good team plan if you know the strengths and weaknesses of each player in your team, and you can only acquire this knowledge if you are present during their practice sessions. Aside from scheduling practice games, you are expected to track the growth of the team and individual athletes (especially setting growth goals).
- Improve Team Dynamics and Promote Sportsmanship.
Nurturing these values is more than one-day labor, especially since your players are young and can sometimes become non-conforming. Your role is not just to prepare their skills for basketball games but also to teach an athletic mindset in them. No matter how excellent your players are, winning championships is such an impasse if a good character is not manifested. It may sound cliche, but teamwork makes the dream work.
- Ensure the Safety and Health of Each Player.
Basketball players are humans, too—people who get tired and need emotional support. If there is one person whom players confide in their professional and personal issues, it should be the coach. Most of all, you must be emotionally intelligent to ensure that the holistic well-being of a player is valued.
- Set Realistic Team Goals
Setting team plans is a no-brainer for you as a basketball coach. You are the group leader, and you must micromanage every aspect. You must also consider the age of your players to set appropriate expectations for them and encourage them to continue playing basketball.
The rules of a youth basketball coach are not limited to the ones explained above, for this job differs from case to case. Having learned their responsibilities, you may feel overwhelmed but remember that it only feels difficult at first because you are just starting.
What are the Requirements to Be a Youth Basketball Coach?
The simplest way to understand the technicalities of this job is to consider it a profession, just like other careers in other industries. In this case, youth basketball rules and requirements for coaches are imposed to ensure the quality of aspirants seeking a position in the basketball coaching field.
These are three basic and standard requirements that most basketball teams in academe require in hiring a youth basketball coach or assistant.
One of the papers that can vouch for your competence you should secure is a certification. Since basketball coaching involves competence, your papers can vouch for your ability to handle teams. Whatever position you handle, certifications are something you should not miss out on.
Suppose you are still a high school student and plan to become a coach in the future. In that case, consider taking a bachelor’s degree in physical education, kinesiology, or sports medicine. Although a diploma is not always required, having an academic background in an allied field proves that you are professionally trained to work in the sports industry.
Do not forget about the most important of all—the experience. Although leagues on the recreational side do not require expertise, established ones like the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, prefer candidates with extensive experience. It would be best to gain experience first on the recreational side before expanding your horizon to the national level.
Most importantly, the requirements differ from team to team. Securing these three significant advantages will make you a preferable and ideal candidate for a youth basketball coaching position.
3 Qualities Youth Coaches Must Have
Having learned the fundamentals of basketball coaching, the last consideration you need to know about is the practical qualities of a great youth coach. Since you are working on the character development of players, positive traits should also manifest in you.
How to be a good youth basketball coach? Here are the three traits of a successful youth basketball coach
- Basketball Knowledge in Basketball
It does not matter if you are a great player or not as long as you know the fundamentals, rules, and strategies to implement. Some NBA players did not succeed on the field but became great coaches.
- Game Smart
Basketball games are not just about skills but also deal with team strategy. Hence, strategizing a game plan needs intelligence and great decision-making. Being wise in a game means you can respond to different cases on the spot without doubt and hesitation.
- Right Attitude
Since your players are young and primarily rookies, you need to bring a lot of motivation to govern a team. Keep your calm and take their immaturity as a challenge to strive more and develop their inner potential into greatness.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Coach Youth Basketball
You may have asked yourself how to coach youth basketball. Indeed, you feel unsure of trying your luck in this field since you may need more background in this industry. Youth basketball coaching experiences can be your stepping stone to becoming a renowned professional coach in the future.
Becoming an outstanding youth basketball team coach takes both practical and technical knowledge. As early as now, gain experience and consider venturing into allied courses as your college major. If you have the heart and mind to accept this challenge, then you are good to go.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.