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37 Truths for the Youth Basketball Coach

Being a Youth Basketball Coach can be an awesome experience! There are many skills and requirements needed to be effective at coaching and teaching young athletes the game of basketball.

I recently came across these 37 Coaching Truths by Rick Burns, the soccer coach at Gordon College, that I feel apply perfectly to being a youth basketball coach.

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If you look at all the great coaches, at any level of competition, that have been successful…I would be willing to bet that their coaching philosophy centers around the tips below.

Successful coaching doesn’t happen by luck. It takes hard work and dedication, plus a certain way of doing things. That “certain way” is outlined below.

The youth basketball coach that is willing to follow these tips will have a much greater impact on their players and teams! Best of luck!

37 Truths For The Youth Basketball Coach

1. Remind your players before each match to enjoy their experience.

2. A crisp, 90-minute training session beats a dragged-out, two-and-a-half-hour session every time.

3. On match day, step back, quiet down and enjoy watching the fruition of your labor (when the whistle blows, it’s very much your player’s show).

4. Real power comes from serving your people well.

5. Where there is a will, there is not always a way – but sometimes there is.

6. Find a kind way to tell your players the blunt truth.

7. Athletics participation is important, but it is just a temporary, wonderful phase to pass through on the way to real life.

8. Don’t second guess yourself – make the best decision you can and move on.

9. Speak succinctly. Don’t lose track of the value being uncomplicated.

10. Balance praise and criticism – too much of either can be harmful.

11. Set your standards early and don’t compromise them.

12. Speak freshly, avoiding the gaggingly inane clichés, such as “stepping up,” “moving to the next level” or “giving 110 percent.”

13. In these sullen, win-at-all-cost times, enjoy the occasional belly laugh. Delight is the wage of living.

14. It’s unnecessary to raise your voice to be heard if your players believe you have something important to say. Your impact is greater with a whisper than a roar.

15. Teach your players the wonderful freedom that comes from learning to lose with grace and dignity and without excuse.

16. Winning is overrated, and the singular quest for it leads to unhappiness.

17. Keep things simple – everything added is something lost.

18. Greeting each player personally at the beginning of training every day and saying something sincerely positive publicly about each player during the training session pays dividends.

19. Letting your players know that you care for them, and that they can trust you, is critical.

20. Cervantes was right: “The journey is more important than the arrival.”

21. Teach your players that peace of mind is a result of giving all that they have.

22. Let your actions coincide with your beliefs.

23. Convey to your players your love of the game.

24. Don’t posture – a confident person need not convince anybody of anything.

25. Don’t allow one or two players to ruin things for the rest of the players.

26. The joy of winning fades immediately and precipitously.

27. Have the courage to say “no” when the answer is “no”.

28. Don’t script your training sessions down to the minute – allow room for spontaneity.

29. Convey to your players the intrinsic honor that comes from training and playing hard.

30. It’s as important to have your players work on their strengths as well as their weaknesses.

31. Show some passion on occasion. They have to know you care.

32. Don’t overanalyze. Sometimes, as Freud told us, “A cigar is just a cigar.”

33. Run an absolute meritocracy. The better they play and the harder they work, the more they play.

34. If you don’t know, say so.

35. Learning through self discovery is ego enhancing and more likely to last.

36. Introduce a service component to your program – it’s good for everybody.

37. Even in these politically correct times, don’t neglect the spiritual aspects of coaching.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 37 Truths For The Youth Basketball Coach! To get the most out of your coaching experience and to have the greatest impact on your players…follow these truths. You’ll be glad you did!