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Keys to Coaching Youth Basketball

A young woman concentrates as she shoots a basketball

Coaching youth basketball can be a very rewarding way of giving back to your community. You are able to share your passion for the game and impart life lessons like teamwork and sportsmanship. Youth coaching can also be tricky. You have parents to communicate with and players to keep focused. You have no control over the home life of your players, and in fact you may have no idea what they are dealing with at home. This is both the biggest challenge of youth coaching and what makes it so rewarding. 

You can help these children forget about whatever troubles they are facing for a few hours on the court. However, you will also have to possibly navigate missed practices and games — even those that have nothing to do with troubles at home. Here we will share a few key pointers that Minnesota basketball coaches agree will help your team succeed this season, no matter what comes your way.

Set the Tone

You can find plenty of examples among the collegiate and professional ranks that the tone of coaching is shifting. Being a domineering taskmaster is no longer seen as an effective way to guide athletes, even at the most competitive levels. Doing so in youth basketball will only hinder your ability to lead your team. 

It is a much better approach to make a genuine connection with each of your players. Going this route will help you build trust among your players. This trust will help them buy into the drills and strategies you are using. Setting the right tone from the first team meeting will help you bring your team together so they can have the best season possible.

Coach to Their Level

Be consciously aware of the ages of players you are coaching. This can be a difficult aspect to balance as you want to teach them the finer points of the game, but they may not be ready for that just yet. 

Start by focusing and drilling the basics of the game. After all, youth basketball is much more about learning about the game and how to be on a team than perfectly executing a pick-and-roll. As the season progresses, you might be able to introduce more advanced concepts depending on how well your team has taken to the basics.

Stay Positive

Did your team fail to properly run a play, despite practicing it thoroughly all week long? Did the ref blow a call that cost you the game? Handle your own emotions internally and guide your team through whatever adversity it is facing. Youth coaching is all about how you show your team the way through challenges and setbacks. If your immediate reaction is to fire up and express yourself through anger, that will be the lesson you impart upon your team. Modeling positive communication and outlooks will encourage your team to do the same.  

Coach Through Us!

Trusted Coaches is here to help you get your start in youth coaching. Youth basketball can be a challenging yet rewarding sport to coach and we are here to help you set your team up for success. We screen coaches to ensure they will create a safe environment for athletes to learn and grow within the game, as well providing concussion, first aid and general training. More and more Minnesota basketball coaches and leagues are turning to Trusted Coaches to make their season the best it can be. Reach out today to get certified and start coaching!