Hints and tips for coaches

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has a number of useful resources for coaches:

The Coach’s Resources also lists a number of books and videos which assist coaches to build their own skills and those skills of their players.

When coaching junior basketball, especially younger age groups, keep the following in mind.

1. Failure is not the same thing as losing, nor is success equivalent to winning. Stress to young players that success is related to commitment and effort, not to winning the game. Your young players need to know that if they strive to do their best they are never “losers”.

2. Don’t take your athletes efforts for granted. Reinforce good results, and probably more importantly, good efforts. Reinforce immediately. Praise the good things and you will be surprised how much more often they happen.

3. Encourage your players when they make mistakes. Always give corrective instruction in an encouraging manner. Stress the good things that will happen if the player follows your instruction, don’t stress the mistake they just made. Never punish (by tone of voice or action) a mistake. Never give corrective instruction in a harsh, demeaning or sarcastic manner.

4. Get the players involved in setting up team rules, and involve them in determining the sorts of penalties involved if they are broken. Some rules might be;

  • Respect all of your team mates – treat them like you want to be treated.
  • Give maximum effort at all times.
  • Be prepared and focused during games and practice sessions.

5. When misbehaviours occur, don’t punish with physical measures (e.g. running laps). Rather exclude the player from practice for a short period. Extended or repeated misbehaviours should always be brought to the attention of the player’s parent or guardian.

6. If they are prepared to commit maximum effort, junior players should always be given adequate & fair court time during games to facilitate their development.

7. Coaches are encouraged to develop their knowledge of the game through the use of videos, books, coaching clinics and coaching accreditation.