The Power Of A Coach

A (basketball) player often forgets the power that their coach has. Remember, the coach controls what role each player will have, the playing time, the game-plan, and lots more. However, players still get in their heads over things they can’t control. Therefore, I want to talk about what to look for in a coach and what traits are red flags.

We have all heard the typical phrase, “a good coach can always make you push a little harder, run a little faster, hold on for a little longer.” Hence, a coach can put the athlete outside of their comfort zone because they know what the athlete is able of. So, believe it or not, as much as a coach can help their players to develop they can also break them down and make them look/feel/play worse than they ever have. As much as a coach can improve their team he/she can set the player up for failure. Let me introduce you to my check list for coaches.

Traits to look for in a coach, someone who:

  1. Has a solid knowledge and credentials but always open to learn and listen to players
  2. Sets up tactics around players, not trying to change a player who’s already professional
  3. Can communicate and come to agreements together with players
  4. Interact with players on and off the court in a professional manner until the season is over
  5. Sets up the team and personal goals for each player
  6. Highlights progress and gives feedback after practice/games
  7. Is honest and realistic regarding you as a player and the ability of the team to succeed
  8. Has a clear sports (basketball) philosophy and makes the players fit in it even if that means that some plays might be changed
  9. Knows how to reach out to all players and how to motivate them
  10. Believes in sport psychology!

Avoid coaches who do this:

  1. Humiliate players and never gives constructive criticism back
  2. Ignores non-sportsman behavior
  3. Manipulates and tries to create drama or “sides”
  4. Doesn’t value players
  5. Doesn’t show respect to everyone
  6. Plays the players who are paid the most instead of the ones who are more skilled
  7. Doesn’t value the bench
  8. Doesn’t make changes when the team is losing or when the other team makes a run
  9. Makes the same mistakes over and over
  10. Refuses to listen to players constructive criticism

The most important question, do you and your coach have the same goal and will your coach make you better and use your best qualities or not?

Until next week, make sure you write down a list of what kind of coach you are looking to play for. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below 🙂

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve Ruis says:

    An exercise I would like to se done re “#5 Sets up the team and personal goals for each player” is to have the coach make a list of the personal goals for each player on the team and then have the athletes make one for themselves. Then coach sits down with each athlete to review the two lists.

    Presumably, the coaches list of goals would include things that are for the betterment of the team and the athlete would tend to focus on things that make them a better individual player. Real power comes out of the items that overlap. Items that both player and coach think they need to work on.

    Items on which there is not agreement create a basis for a good discussion. Minds can and do change, and if a mutually agreed upon list of personal goals can be had, create a powerful management tool for both team and individual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like how you think there. That’s a great approach, makes both the players and coaches work. 👍🏼


      1. Steve Ruis says:

        Work and think. Maybe the coach isn’t thinking enough about the athlete’s personal development/career and maybe the athlete isn’t thinking about the team enough. When the lists show that the coach is thinking about the athlete’s career and the athlete is thinking about the team success, a great deal of mutual respect grows from that, which is all to the good as some “tension” between athlete and coach is baked in, especially in college sports in which the power axis heavily favors the coach.

        Liked by 1 person

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