Mike Klinzing is Founder and Executive Director of Head Start Basketball (Cleveland, OH). Offering youth basketball camps and skills training for over 20 years, Head Start Basketball uses the game to improve character, develop leadership, and promote sportsmanship.
Basketball season is upon us. As a coach, here is a list of items that you may be thinking about during practices that can help players be more prepared and make the most of their development.
Good Coaches will use a combination of drills and games.
As a coach I want to know who can follow directions, learn a new skill, and execute the fundamentals of the game. Coaches can learn these things by putting the players through drills.
I also want to know who can play. Some kids look great in drills, but their skills don’t translate to game situations. Players should be prepared to play their best in both drills and game settings.
Good Coaches will pay attention to the intangibles of each player.
Effort, hustle, and communication will always get noticed! Coaches want players with great intangibles on their team. Bringing these three things to practice will increase the odds a player will make an impact on their team.
Good Coaches know that culture is the key to success.
A team’s culture starts with the head coach and permeates the entire team down to the last player on the bench. Coaches realize that it’s the bench players that often determine whether the season is fun and successful. When all players on a team buy into the culture the season is waaaay more fun.
Demonstrate (through your play & your intangibles – see above) that you are the type of player that will help your coach build a great culture. If you can help your coach build a winning culture he or she will want you around.
Good Coaches know that coachable talent cares more about the WE than the ME.
Your young player won’t impact the team on intangibles alone, they obviously need to have some talent too. Make sure to put the team first. At practice, players should play their game, and not feel the need to shoot every time they touch the ball in order to impress the coach. Make an impression by encouraging teammates, acknowledging great plays, and being vocal. Combine that with talent and your young player will be well on their way to becoming great.
Good coaches watch both offense and defense.
Don’t neglect the defensive end of the floor. Good coaches certainly won’t. Most players focus first on their shooting and scoring. By going against the grain and giving tremendous effort on defense your young player will stand out from the crowd.
Be ready to play hard, play smart, and play together.