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Home - Tips for Advancing up the Coaching Ladder

  Tips for Advancing up the Coaching Ladder

Many 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 association.
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 professional.
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 South America.
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 guards.
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.

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