Have you ever been part of a basketball team comprised of twelve players; however, the coach only plays eight of them? The only time the coach will play the other four players will be through a couple minutes in the fourth quarter against weaker opponents when the team has secured the win. Now imagine how those four athletes feel in comparison to the other players on the team. Do you think it is fair to those other four players that spent the season on the bench?
As I was deciding what to write about this week, I reflected on previous coaches I have had in the past and compared that to the way I currently coach my team today. I looked at and evaluated each coaching style of my previous coaches and if they had an impact on the way that I coach. As we all know, there are a number of different coaching styles and/or techniques; however, after some research, I think that there are two main coaching styles we use today in everyday life at any age group. The first one being transactional coaching and secondly transformational coaching styles.
There is one aspect in ALL sports that has just become a regular part of the game at all levels: Trash talking! Here in Canada, some might call it ‘chirping’ and it is used for the sole purpose of ‘getting in your opponents’ head. In my days of coaching, I have seen this theme increase from year to year and my personal opinion is that the young athletes are just emulating the professionals they see on television. But does that make it okay?
As a coach or a parent are you concerned about what position your son, daughter or young athlete occupies while playing basketball. Many coaches today start teaching young athletes about specific positions in basketball and informing those players that they must play that position for the whole season. Children at this age do not know the difference between a shooting guard and a power forward; rather, they just want to play the sport and have fun.
A skill that separates an exceptional athlete from the rest is the degree to which that individual believes in themselves and trusts that they can be successful in the sport. Confidence is defined as how strongly an individual believes that he/she can achieve the desired goals. This skill is applied at all levels within sport and is developed over time. The way that Tom Brady is able to make that winning touchdown pass or LeBron James making that defensive stop in clutch moments all stems from this confidence and the belief that they can perform these tasks on a regular basis.
When I played basketball in high school, my coach always used to say, “we ( the team) are only as good as the weakest player on the team.” Meaning that in order to have success on the team, we must use each individual’s strengths and work together to accommodate the weaknesses. That high school coach preached the importance of teamwork, whether during practice, games or off-site events in order to understand each person to the greatest extent as an athlete and an individual off-the-court. Basketball is a great sport that helped me develop skills, such as teamwork, that was applicable to other areas in my life.