young coaches often find the doors to coaching opportunities often
closed to them and often become frustrated and bitter. Young coaches
see doors opened to others of equal or lesser experience and wonder
what’s up. Coaches tend to hire ex-players, friends or the sons and
daughters of their former coaches or coaching friends. The key word is
experience. How is a young coach going to get the experience that will
make him or her attractive to a coach, club, school or university?
Sometimes young coaches are un-realistic about their experience and
what it really takes to advance as a coach besides the X’s and O’s.
Young coaches need to understand the other aspects of basketball
coaching such as how to motivate, provide leadership, how to
discipline, be able to organize, how get along with people and learning
how to teach and coach. As you develop as a coach, what can you do to
get an edge on other coaches to expand your coaching career. We will
examine several things that can help you.
1. Work camps, meet and talk basketball with other coaches in camp.
2. Start a basketball library, use the internet to study websites, use
FIBA Assist magazine from the FIBA website
3. Watch as many games as possible, diagram plays.
4. Study the great coaches and observe what they do.
5. Call, write or e mail other coaches.
6. Understand that there’s more to coaching than just basketball.
Washing uniforms, sweeping the floor, setting up the gym for games and
cleaning up the locker rooms after games.
7. Study all areas of basketball, offensive and defensive systems.
8. Work for a successfully coach as an assistant.
9. Attend basketball clinics and join your national basketball coaches
10. Be realistic don’t apply for every head job you read about.
11. Set coaching goals, long and short term.
12. Share ideas.
13. Learn the ability to organize.
14. Learn to scout and analyze players, offer to
scout a team for a coaching staff so they can get a different
perspective on their players.
15. Don’t exaggerate your experience or pad your resume. Be
16. Contact federations and offer your services in return for room and
board for short term coaching assignment or to conduct a youth
basketball camp you pay your airfare but look at the experience you
get. In the 1970s I paid my way to several countries for room and board
in return for coaching and fundamental clinics. Now my airfare is
provided by federations . I have conducted twenty-Five Olympic
Solidarity coaching courses in Africa, the Caribbean , Central and
17. Volunteer to work at pro games NBA, Euro League or your national
league teams. I worked for the Houston Rockets in 1972-1973 and San
Antonio Spurs in 1973-1974 with ball boys and visiting team locker
rooms and got to meet and talk to ABA and NBA coaches. A few years
later these contacts helped me get several area NBA scouting jobs.
18. Become a basketball specialist in shooting, post play or point
19. If you want to coach overseas learn to speak a new language. I grew
up speaking Spanish in Texas since my mother is from Mexico and I
learned French which helped me when I coached the Mali Men’s and
Women’s national team in 1998. I picked up some Arabic when coached in
the Middle East.
20. Write coaching articles.
By working hard, setting goals and planning you will
advance up the coaching ladder and hopefully you will become successful
in the coaching profession and make yourself valuable
as a coach.