Tied for the 6th and final spot entering the last game of the regular season; it is win to get in to participate in the conference tournament. This is one of the greatest time of the year, and as a coach I get front row seats to witness our student-athletes compete to create their opportunity. The list compiled below are some of the things that I took from my first season at the collegiate level having had an opportunity to learn under a relentless staff with driven group of student-athletes.
- First day of practice our coach looks to set the tone – “If you aren’t talking you are thinking about yourself. What kind of teammate do you want to be?”
- Do the little things. Go out of your way to talk to the players every day. See how they are doing, or joke with them to continue to build the relationship between you as a coach and them as a student-athlete. Communicating with them will facilitate comfort, in addition to being able to better understand who that player is as a person and how they respond to different situations. Get to know your players (open door policy).
- Still not a big fan of multiple coaches critiquing one player during games. Too many voices. Too many distorted messages. Understand your role as a young coach. Head coach and top assistant have the liberty to get on a player at will, but the dialogue between player and remaining staff on bench should be limited because I think it tends to confuse the actual instruction he/she should be hearing. Only communication for younger coaches with players should be re-emphasizing points made from head or top assistant coach and to keep them positive throughout the game (unless instructed otherwise).
- A student is not a finite term. You understand coaching the game of basketball, cool, but do you know how to oversee a budget? What nuances take place in film exchange, or have you mastered even how to cut film? Can you be relied upon to give academic advise to students looking to meet academic standards? My point being is for young coaches there is a lot to learn besides X’s & O’s. Quote I got early in the season, “Nothing is beneath you, so that everything is in front of you.” Look to learn administrative responsibilities just as much as you soak up everything else about the game.
- Recruiting is relentless.