How to handle issues with your basketball coach

It gives me great pleasure seeing teenagers playing sports. I believe sports is a great educator especially when it comes to team building. However, as a teenager there’s maturity issues when it comes to dealing with conflict. It’s normal to have issues with your basketball coach. But there’s a right way and a wrong way on how to deal with it.

A conversation about issues with your basketball coach

Yesterday I spoke to one of my friends at the gym who is a former high level basketball player. An American that grew up playing the game of basketball in high school and college. We got talking about some of the struggles we’ve had coaching the younger generation of basketball players here in Australia.

He spoke to me about a time when he was coaching representative basketball. How he had to deal with parents coming to him because their son was upset. He constantly has parents speaking to him about why their son isn’t getting court time. For a coach this can be very draining.

When I was at Solano my coach gave the team forms to sign that stated no parents would get involved with the decisions the coaches made. If the players had problems they would be men and step up and speak to the coach.

I personally had no issue with this because my parents were in Australia but apparently it’s a common thing. With all my basketball issues I have dealt with it on my own and never included my parents. Maybe it’s because I took the game up late.

What to do if you have a problem

If you have issues with anything related to your team or coaching this is how you should approach getting a resolution. Without involving your parents!

  • Think about the issues you are having and write them down
  • Book a meeting with your basketball coach and coaching staff
  • Bring up the points you made but do not get emotional. Listen to what the coaching staff has to say and understand their viewpoint.
  • Clearly state what it is you are looking to resolve and see how that works with the direction the coach wants to take the team.
  • If you are not satisfied with what you’ve heard in this meeting. Tell the coach straight away.

In the weeks or months after your meeting with the coach you are still upset, there’s no resolution to your problem, then look to move teams or clubs. You don’t have to stay committed to a team or club that you are not happy playing for. Most clubs have multiple teams. Go down a league if you have to.

Make sure your requests are realistic and fair. Just because you have an issue it’s not a good thing if you are putting yourself in front of the team. With any issue it is best to get a second opinion with other coaches that you know. See if the issues you are having a issues to bring up or if it actually is an issue with YOUR attitude.

Learn to become a role player on the team

As a player moves up the basketball ranks not always will that person be the superstar. Perfect example of these are college superstars getting buried on the bench of an NBA team.

There are times where you will have to be the role player on the team and do other things apart from scoring. Embracing this will enable to to go far with your basketball. It certainly did for me. I probably wouldn’t have made most of the teams I played for if I didn’t do things out of the ordinary.

When I didn’t get court time I spoke to the coaches and found out what we lacked. I then tried to fill that gap by taking that responsibility on myself. Few of the things I did was being a hard nosed defender, a hustler that tried to will every loose ball, rebounded even though I was small. It’s the gap fillers if taken on will get you more minutes.

Final thoughts

It’s important that you handle yourself as a man no matter what age you are. When it comes to basketball the relationship is between you and the team as well as the coach. No one else needs to get involved.

Issues are better solved in house, and if they don’t, moving on to another basketball team has never been easier. But make sure your reasons aren’t selfish, if they are you can develop a bad name for yourself.

It could be you that people watch on TV playing basketball

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