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“We as coaches are some of the luckiest people in the world. We get up in the morning truly excited about our work. We look forward to teaching in the classroom and then coaching after school. It is a blessed opportunity to work with, to positively influence, and to learn from the world’s most valuable resource – its youth. We are with student-athletes when they are most impressionable. In the glow of victory, when they are at their emotional peaks, we are there. In their disappointment of defeat, when they are at their emotional depths, we are there. It is in these instances that young people are the most pliable. What an opportunity to be a force for good in so many lives in a way that will stay with these young people as long as they live. But it is more than an opportunity; it’s also a responsibility. Of those to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Morgan Wootten

Coaching Basketball Successfully

Coaching philosophy

Coaching Philosophy

A coaching philosophy is a road map that keeps a coach focused on what he/she believes is most important. It is established over many years, beginning the first time you picked up a ball and evolves as your experiences happen.

Philosophy Influences

A common trap is to measure success of a program by wins and losses. The problem is if you win all is wonderful and mistakes are not acknowledged. If you lose all is terrible and hope is lost and improvement is overwhelming. You can always learn and improve – praise successes and work on constructive criticism.


When once asked ‘How do you think the season went?’ the legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne responded:

“Check back with me in 10 to 15

years. Then I will know what

kind of young men we have

produced and what kind of

citizens they have become.

Then I will be able to evaluate

this season!”

Why coach

Why Coach?

Why coach1

Why Coach?

“Playing and coaching have so little to do with each other that it should come to no surprise how few players enjoy coaching. They think they’ll like staying close to the game. Then they find out it isn’t a game anymore.”

Jim Valvano

NC State

The best feeling in sports – ‘Lying exhaused in victory.’ The second best – ‘Lying exhausted in defeat.’ Coaching is Emotion!”

Vince Lombardi

Green Bay Packers

Coaching styles

Coaching Styles


Bobby knight joke

Bobby Knight Joke

Three NCAA coaches were flying to a convention when the plane crashed and they all died. All 3 noticed God up in the clouds sitting in a chair. God motioned to each of them to explain:

  • Who are you?

  • What did you do?

  • What did people think of you?

    Tom Izzo replied, “I am Tom Izzo. I won a national championships at Michigan State and I’ve taken the Spartans to the Final Four 6 times in the past 12 years. The people of Michigan think I’m great.” God motioned for Tom to sit at his right side.

    Mike Krzyzewski replied, “I am Mike Krzyzewski. In the past 30 years I have coached Duke to 4 national championships and averaged over 20 wins a year. The people of North Carolina think I’m great.” God motioned for Mike to sit at his left side.

    Bobby Knight replied, “I’m Bobby Knight. I have won 3 national championships, 2 NIT championships, the Olympics, 9 Big Ten Titles the Pan Am Games and I was the youngest coach ever to win 600 games. The people of Indiana think you are sitting in my chair.”

Coaching style quotes

Coaching Style Quotes

Bo Schembeckler

Michigan Football


“A Michigan Man will coach


“Motivation is the transference of your heart and soul into your players minds and bodies.”

“If you expect your players to excel, you better have a pretty good reason, and that reason must be the pursuit of excellence; not for the individual; for the TEAM! You will never get the same level of effort from one man seeking glory as from a group of men pulling for a shared goal.”

“I don’t want anybody arguing with the officials out there, you got it! We only need one ass on this team and I’ve designated myself.”

Coaching styles1

Coaching Styles

2. Intense

Coaching style quotes1

Coaching Style Quotes

Bill Parcells

Dallas Cowboys


“there is winning and there is misery”

“If you respect a player and he respects you, then you have a relationship. In a relationship all commentary is allowed – I wish you were a piece of sh– out there on defence, at least somebody might slip on you”

Coaching styles2

Coaching Styles

3. Business-Like

Coaching styles3

Coaching Styles

4. Nice Guy/Gal

5. Easy-Going

Developing positive self image

Developing Positive Self Image

Give an example of how a coach could achieve each of the above with their team.



Discipline requires firmness, fairness & consistency.

1. Read the article ‘Establishing Discipline and Getting More Out of Your Players’ and anayze the discipline suggestions for firmness, fairness & consistency.

2. Analyze two discipline tools you have come across using the 3 requirements above.


Coaching Basketball: Establishing Discipline and Getting More Out of Your Players

By Jeff Haefner

Don't punish, discipline with the intent to teach. Punishment for poor or inappropriate behavior only serves to fragment the teams focus and hinder their motivation. Not only that, it can cause kids to quit the team. Instead, discipline with the intent to teach your players how to conduct themselves appropriately. You'll find one of the toughest things as a coach (especially with young players) is keeping their attention and still keep things fun. Most coaches really struggle with this and I'll tell you that most of them go about it all wrong. Let me ask you a question.Do you want your players to have fun and really enjoy themselves?I would hope so. I certainly do. Well, unbelievably, one of the best ways to get you players to enjoy themselves and get the most from this experience is by establishing the right kind of discipline. That's right. Discipline, structure, accountability, and follow-through. Mean what you say!Kids actually have more fun if they have some good discipline in place. They actually like the structure because it makes them feel more secure. They know what to expect and how to perform. True, some will test you. Expect it! Be consistent and always mean what you say. If you tell your team that talking during a team meeting means a lap around the gym, then enforce it. Always and for everyone.1. Set rules2. Communicate those rules both verbally and in writing.3. Follow through with your rulesIt's actually quite simple but hardly anybody does it right. Kids are smart. They know what they can get away with. You must establish some very basic rules and expectations. You owe it to your players, their parents and especially to yourself. Do you really want to coach 20 kids without any discipline or structure in place?When those rules are broken or expectations are not met, then there are consequences, every time. Not some of the time. Every time! The behavior of your players will very quickly change if you are consistent with your discipline.However, this is where most coaches screw up!They let things slide here and there. They are not consistent in handing out discipline. Most coaches (and parents for that matter) are continually giving our verbal threats to discipline. But there's rarely action behind their words. Kids quickly pick up on this and will not listen to you. That's why there must be disciplinary action every time. Don't be wishy-washy. And very soon, you won't even have to give out discipline because your players learned they can't get away with it.To give you an idea, I like setting a precedent on the first day of practice. This works awesome! When you're ready to start practice, you blow the whistle and tell the kids to bring it in. It never fails. A few kids will hustle in and several others will mill around and slowly walk to you. And some might not even listen at all. At this point, you immediately discipline them. I generally have them all get on the line and start running sprints. I run them pretty hard. Then I blow the whistle and call them in again. Trust me, they sprint to me this time. This is usually the last time I need to make them run for a long time. I might need to give them reminders on occasion. But they generally know I mean business and they learn what they can get away with. I simply don't let them get away with things that are detrimental to themselves or our practice. And we still have tons of fun! Because that's what it's all about!Now you might be worried about setting some discipline because you don't want to be the bad guy. And you want them to have fun. I don't blame you. Well, don't worry. They will actually like you even more after you get the discipline established. Trust me. I've been there!Here are some basic rules and disciplinary actions that have worked for me.1. No talking when a coach is talking.2. No lying. Period. There are very severe consequences for this.3. Always be on time.4. If you can't make practice always call.5. Unsportsmanlike behavior is never acceptable.Without the discipline, you'll be cutting your players short and struggling to reach your goals.

Fair play philosophy

Fair Play Philosophy

Fair play

Fair Play

In the last few minutes of a tight basketball game one of your players commits their 5th foul. Everyone in the gym knows it is his 5th. As he heads for the bench the scorekeeper mentions that is only his 4th and the referee allows him to stay in the game as the book is the official record.

  • What is your response as the coach?

  • How would you react if you were the opposing coach?

Fair play1

Fair Play

  • In your sport is there such a thing as a good penalty?

  • When is it acceptable to argue with an official?

  • Is it acceptable to intimidate opponents?

  • Is it acceptable to press (basketball) or pass (football) or steal bases (basketball) with a large lead?

Keep your players competing through adversity

Keep Your Players Competing Through Adversity

Kids sports article running tryouts

Kids & Sports Article – Running Tryouts

“We're not even going to touch a ball these next few days. We're going to run and run and work hard. If you can't do all the conditioning drills and keep up with all the others, then you will get cut from this team." It's the start of basketball season, and coaches are conducting tryouts in hope of putting together a championship team. Great idea! If this is your goal, then why are kids getting cut that can't run a seven minute mile, or a 30 second suicide?Young and inexperienced coaches fall back on conditioning as a key component for making the team.If the kid's initial shape is a criteria for making the basketball team, then you might as well throw in discus, the tennis serve, and platform diving. This is basketball and you are looking for basketball skill. Coaches need to get rid of the "I am in control, I am in power", mentality that wants kids to show submission to the position of coach by making them run and do hours of push-ups.Cuts should be based on three objectives:1. Skill Level2. Potential3. Attitude1. Skill Level- The best way to judge an athlete's present basketball ability is to put them in drills that display those skills you are looking for. Drills that work on dribbling, passing, and ball handling skills give you a better idea of a point guard than eight laps around the track. You need to break down all the parts of your style of play and create drills to find those players that fit your program.Shooting drills, defensive drills, rebounding drills, dribbling drills, passing drills starts the list. Don't ever forget to put them in game situations. This is application time. This is where you will see the talent rising to the top and not stifled in drill exercises. There will always be those few kids who do well in the drills, but not in game situations. These are the kids who have done a lot of preparing, but who don't have the court sense or the competitive edge.

2. Potential- Watch for those kids who may have less experience or have had bad coaching in the past but who are really athletic. They may have hidden skill and ability deep inside just waiting to explode.Watch for two things:a) A gifted athlete. These kids have this uncanny ability to adapt their muscles and fundamental movements as needed. They just need to be taught. This is the greatest feeling of accomplishment for a coach, bringing out the best in a player.B) A fundamentally sound player. They have the proper movements, now they need playing experience and guidance to figure out how to use it! These kids may not stand out today, but could be your star player tomorrow.

3. Attitude- Are they willing to do all that is asked of them? Will they help create an atmosphere that everyone loves to be a part of? Will they encourage the others? Will they work hard and do their best, giving up what they want for the sake of the team? Will they be at all the practices and time? These are the kids that help make a good team better. These are the kids that make you job as a coach exciting, fun, and motivating. As a result, you have team chemistry. Team chemistry fosters team work, motivates learning, focus and hard work.Basketball tryouts need to bring out basketball players, not long distance runners. Once you have your team, let the conditioning begin. So lace up the basketball shoes, and let's "play ball!"

Conducting tryouts

Conducting Tryouts

For most coaches the toughest day of the season is the day the team is selected.

  • How can you set up tryouts that are fair and talent can be identified?

  • How should kids be told they have not made the squad?

  • How do you handle parents who do not agree with your decisions?

Striving for last second success

Striving For Last-Second Success

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