Impressions of Coaching

I am in the midst of teaching “Introduction to Coaching” as an online course this summer. I started the class by showing this video. I thought some of the responses to the video are revealing, as they are the impressions of college students who are not too far removed from their playing days.

Here are some of the responses:

  • A good coach needs to understand the needs of his players, and to use individual strengths in different ways to get the job done. A good coach will make goals with the players that are specific, not just “I want to win”. He will condition them in many different ways, so they’ll be ready for anything. And he will understand the game more than when he simply played it.
  • I have met many people like this, where they were pretty good players when they were younger or continued playing but didn’t make it to college ball or the pros and just took up coaching. They think they know everything but there is so much more to coaching then just knowing how to play. A coach should be someone with knowledge, of course, but knowledge of how to teach, instruct, demonstrate, be clear, know how to work with individuals and groups, and so much more. Yelling and screaming may work at certain places but for the most part, yelling doesn’t work like most people would think. Running only made people more frustrating.
  • A coach should be someone who takes the players on his/her team and teaches them, not only about how to become a better player, but how to be better off the court. This involves academics, character, and basically any other issues in their lives that they may need help with. Knowing plays and understanding the game thoroughly is a huge part of being a coach. That said, if you do not have good relationships with your players and staff, you will have poor team chemistry and success will be much harder to achieve.
  • Yelling, “thats what coaches do.” I love it! This is typical of many coaches who believe they can coach because they played the sport. They do not know how to coach, but are certain they know how. I’m sure we all have had a coach like this. Little is communicated from the coach to the player because of the misinterpretation of the yelling and or “punishment” of running.
  • It’s funny because as you watch it you are thinking to yourself that a person would have to be crazy to believe that the things this character says is terrible, but then realize that there are actually coaches who have this mind set.
  • The video is classic depiction of some of the coaches i’ve had throughout my sports career. I had a football coach in high school that was exactly this way. He knew the game quite well but did not know how to coach (teach) it to the players.
  • Many coaches think that the best way to motivate players is to yell at them. My football coaches liked to yell a lot. It really upset a lot of my teammates. Many of them stopped playing up to their full potential because they didn’t like how they were treated. I think that a good coach motivates their team by building confidence.

By Brian McCormick
Brian McCormick Basketball
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

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