If you want to be a successful basketball coach, you certainly need to have a thorough knowledge of basketball fundamentals, drills, offense and defense X’s and O’s.
However, having that knowledge alone will not make you a successful basketball coach.
The successful basketball coach is able to teach. He or she must be able to present the basketball material in such a way that every player can learn and understand quickly. He is not only able to teach the team as a whole, but can effectively provide individual instruction as needed.
The following 10 ideas are essentially advice for teaching basketball. Work on and/or improve upon these concepts in your basketball coaching and you will find greater success as a basketball coach.
- Keep your teaching simple.
I often try to remember the old K.I.S.S. principle — Keep It Simple, Stupid! Explain it, but keep it short and to the point. I find most players want to learn but they want to utilize what they have learned. If you ramble on and on or are difficult to understand, the players will start to tune you out … thereby missing out on the important instruction you are offering. Keep your presentations clear, simple, and precise.
Present the overall concept and then teach it step-by-step. Teaching the whole-part method works for every skill and concept. Teach the jump shot as a skill, then break it down so the player can learn the proper form and technique to shooting the jump shot. Present your new offensive system; then break it down into various drills so the players can familiarize themselves with it and learn all the skills and nuances necessary.
- Master the Learning
Make sure that each player has ‘mastered’ what you are teaching. Sure, some players will master things more quickly but mastery is the goal. Each player should be able to adequately perform what he has learned. If he cannot, then you must look at your methods and determine ways in which you can help him improve.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
Work on the skill or concept until the action becomes automatic. And when a skill or play is mastered, repetition is still needed to keep it fresh and to improve even further.
- Teach Individually.
Work individually with players. Help the lesser-skilled become more adept at the given skill. For the more highly-skilled player, teach them something new or something that will help them improve on a current skill. Be patient and be able to demonstrate and correct until the skill is mastered.
- Do Not Over-Coach.
Simple concept. It is far better to do a few things well than many things poorly. If you’re finding things aren’t working so well, you might need to scale it back. Get back to the basics and, yep, Keep It Simple,
- Do Not Over-Coach.