My new found love for coaching basketball

My love for coaching basketball has grown in the last few years. Firstly with the charity group I was a part of with TRY Mentoring. Coaching basketball to kids was very rewarding, as we’ve made a very positive impact that is noticeable in school grades and participation. The kids we coach are participating in school and their grades have gone up as well.

Over the years I have coached various teams and run training camps. When I was younger I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do now as I was very young and inexperienced. This inexperience wasn’t only in the game of basketball but also the way I communicated. This is now not an issue as running the TRY mentoring sessions taught me how to get the kids enjoying basketball but also keeping them in control. It was this experience that gave me the confidence to run a charity basketball camp. A camp that was a great success!

Why I haven’t got into coaching basketball

Personally I’m holding on to the fact that the younger generation of basketball players just do not work hard like I did when I was younger. I know this is a generalisation but the sense of entitlement that this generation has bugs me. Expectation to make or play for teams with little to no hard work. Sorry, but it doesn’t sit well with me.

I’m old school. My college coach was a hard ass and every team that I played for I had to work my ass off. I’ve even tried to help young basketball players with this blog and provided them with free material but they don’t take action. Instead I get young players asking me to hook them up. For God sake, how hard is it to read an article and implement simple steps. No, they expect me to do all the work for them.

It’s for this reason I have avoided coaching unless it’s for charity.

Few pointers for some keen basketball players

Every weekend I go to my local basketball stadium and get some shots up. Every now and then I have to shoot on a court with younger players. When I see some players that genuinely love the game and working on their game, I feel a sense of happiness. Maybe because I see a future basketball player or maybe because they remind me of myself when I first started to play ball.

When I see a kid with good attitude I always give them a few pointers. It’s usually in the way of correcting their shot. I have seen rep players in under 18’s, 20’s and in Big V competitions having broke looking shots. They all love to throw the shot up but their percentages are bad and their shot mechanics suck. It is as if they haven’t been shown how to shoot properly. This is why I coach basketball players good shooting mechanics.

This weekend passed I saw a little kid shooting. He would have been 12 possibly younger. He was flicking the shot up and his father (whom didn’t seem like a basketball player) wasn’t correcting him. I went over to the kid and gave him some pointers and the rest of the kids saw this.

One of these kids that saw me coach started to rebound the ball for me as I shot around. Me being the cocky shooter when he passed it I yelled out “assist” as if to say that his pass was an assist as I was going to make the shot. Before I even shot the ball. I know, I’m a tad bit cocky. But to be completely honest, I missed the first time I yelled “assist”. Yes, I looked/ sounded like an idiot but I did make the second shot.

My basketball coaching in full swing

Now that the kid broke the ice with me he wanted to play me one on one and I gladly obliged. Now, there’s no way I was going to take this seriously as he would have been around 14/ 15 years old. So I let him start with the ball and watched the way he played closely.

Instead of playing one on one I started to give him some pointers about attacking a defender. When he missed I have him back the ball and made him work on what I was coaching him so that he could learn. This turned into his personal one on one basketball coaching session.

Soon after this one on one session another kid got called in and introduced to me. He played me one one one and I gave him some pointers as well. Eventually it was time for me to leave as I had been there for a few hours playing and shooting around as well.

Sitting down after spending around 30 minutes with the kids gave me a sense of satisfaction. It feels really good to coach kids that were very attentive. I sparked up a conversation with a Sydney Basketball League organiser. He noticed me coaching the kids and we spoke about this generation of basketball players.

My advice from the sidelines

Whilst in conversation, more of the boys that were in the group of friends whom I coached came over to have a chat. Well, more to ask some questions about how to deal with their bad coach. Apparently some of the players don’t get played and they were upset about it.

I told them to speak to their coach and ask them what their team lacks. Is it a rebounder? Is it a defender? Or a leader? I advised them the more you know about what you lack you can then fill that gap and get more game time. It was a light bulb moment for them.

It was really nice to talk to some young basketball players that were receptive to everything I spoke to them about. I feel that they listened to everything I had to say because they saw that I can play a bit. Regardless, after this weekend I realised that I’d like to be involved in coaching basketball. I just don’t know how yet.

Having a kid that you’ve only know for 30mins because you gave him a few tips on court, run up to you as you leave to shake your hand and thank you…. Now that’s rewarding!

It could be you that people watch on TV playing basketball

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