On some level it is every mans dream to coach a sport, whether it is football, baseball, basketball, soccer or one of the more obscure sports. In my case, I wound up volunteering to coach basketball, a game I new nearly nothing about. Shortly after I wound up with the job, a parent approached me and asked what sort of coaching style I was going to use. After I managed to clear up the blank look on my face and stammer out some lame answer, I drove quickly to the privacy of my own home to avoid any more questions, and thus, not let my inexperience be known, for I knew after that question that I was in way over my head.
At the time I was probably more suited to coach football, but basketball was what I was dealt. A buddy of mine who had played basketball in high school told me that his coach had used a hands-on coaching style. The coach played with the athletes, showing them the different techniques to use, and what situation to use them in, etc…However, he also pointed out that coaching basketball is more than just playing basketball with the kids like his coach did, but coaching is also about teaching fundamental skills that the players will use for life, as well as team work.
Feeling even more hopeless and confused after this conversation I set out to do heavy research on the topic of coaching basketball. I immediately realized that a large list of references existed to help me, which gave me a great feeling of relief. I had never thought of such concepts as team play, sportsmanship and sharing in regards to coaching sports before, but from my reading I began to get familiar with the topics and ideas. I quickly learned that basketball was about more than just putting a ball through a hoop.
As part of my research I began reading articles that focused on building skills and confidence level in young athletes while coaching. I did my best to absorb everything, but still felt that I might be a little out of my element coaching a basketball team. I had to constantly reassure myself that I could do it. The whole experience ultimately taught me that before you can coach other people you must be able to coach yourself, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’ve been coaching for six weeks now. I feel I’ve done a fair job of helping my players build skills and confidence levels they can use on the court and in the real world. This experience has taught me much about myself and about coaching. In regards to coaching, I have learned that it is not all fun and games, but a huge responsibility; however, I think I’ve prepared myself for the challenge. After all, my team is 5 and 1.
While coaching a team might seem a very attractive job to many a sports fan, it is not easy. I only coach at the Junior High level and it’s exhausting and stressful. I can’t imagine what it is like at the professional level, and I don’t want to. If you are interested in being a coach, make sure and give it some serious thought. Playing sports is great fun, but when it comes to coaching, the rewards and good times are often few and far between.