Choosing to volunteer your time as a youth basketball coach is a big decision. The time investment can be big, but it will pay in dividends. Coaching children can be very rewarding. Seeing the smiles on their little faces and helping them feel good about themselves can have beneficial lifelong effects. It can be very rewarding. If you have not yet decided if you are going to take the job or not, hopefully you will think about your goals and priorities as a team coach and see if they are the right ones.
As a coach, especially of children your priorities should be have fun, skill development and a safe environment. If your goals are anything other than these, you may need to reevaluate your reasons for being a youth basketball coach. As a coach, you have a lot of power. The way you approach being a coach could have lasting effects on the children. The way you talk to the kids and interact with them can determine how they feel about themselves and the sport of basketball.
To become a good coach, you need to make sure you have important information about aspects of the game. If you are well informed and ready to leave your kids to a fun and memorable season, then you are in for a time of your life that you will never forget. The kids will not ever forget either.
Some people decide to coach for the right reasons, such as spending more time with their children or introducing the game to their kids. Other people decide to coach for the wrong reasons, such as winning 1st place, to win a bet or to make sure their children are prepped for a future athletic career. Hopefully you are joining for the right reasons. There is a lot of work to do before the reasons starts and most of it is your sole responsibility.
Occasionally you will meet with all of the parents of the children. It's important to gain their support to have a smooth season. You will interact with all sorts of parents, such as supportive parents, absent parents, opinionated parents and more. You need to learn to work with these different personality types. The one thing that you want to stress to the parents is team work. If everyone is working together, it will really increase the odds of a fun and successful season.
Another very important thing to cover is the rules and terms of the game. You are going to need to understand the rules inside and out if you want to coach. Having a solid understanding of the game is not enough; you need to know the rules by heart. This will help you form a strategy and decide where to place players with certain strengths.
The most fun that you will have all season will be on the court, during practices and of course games. But you have a lot of work to do before you get to this point. Making sure that you are prepared to be a good coach is almost as important as actually doing the job. Do the job right by being prepared and you will be rewarded for life.