Boys and Girls

by admin on October 22, 2010

If you coach basketball and have been doing it for any length of time, you know there is a huge difference between coaching boys and coaching girls.

First, boys are just physical monsters. Girls start out with the physical advantage, at an early age, but that seriously starts to change around 12 or 13 years old. That’s when the old testosterone kicks in and boys take off. Well, those are the physical difference, but what I was really referring to are the mental/personality differences.

Now when it comes to brain power, both can be very intelligent or just plain dumb. Neither one seem to have the market cornered in either those areas. I have seen both do some really stupid things in their lives. After that though, the differences become apparent.

Guys for the most part know everything. I hope you noticed my tongue firmly planted in cheek. Seriously. Ask 10 guys about some fact and they will all tell you they know it. Even if one didn’t, he will lie and say he did just to fit in. Can’t really blame him as the guys will probably mock him for not knowing. Now, ask a group of girls something, and you will see the difference. If most know the answer to the question, they will pretend they don’t just to make the girl who doesn’t know not feel bad…..lol. Of course I am speaking in generalities, but it’s pretty close to the actual way it is.

Guys also have these huge egos you have to deal with. For the most part, you have to tear them down and then build them back up. With girls, it’s just the opposite. Self esteem is a huge problem. You start from the very first meeting building up your female players and that doesn’t stop.

Guys will deal with conflict differently than girls. If guys aren’t getting along, someone gets a hit in the face and 10 minutes later they are all buddies…..women on the other hand will stew in it. I know what the problem is when there is a guy problem on the team…when there is a girl problem, I have to go do a little digging to get the story. Also, with girls, they will take sides. You can see the team split into two camps, to support the one they think is right.

Now, after all this, it would seem like I prefer to coach guys. Not true. For all their drama and insecurities, I would take coaching girls basketball any day of the week. They are just sponges when it comes to learning and for me it’s all about the teaching.

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Coaching Styles

by admin on October 13, 2010

There are so many different styles when you coach basketball.

Some coaches are the yell and scream variety, some are the collaborative type, and others are the dictator style. I personally tend to be a little bit of a few mixed together. I like to meet with my players and get a sense of what they want out of the team for that particular season. I know I certainly have my goals, so I want to see if they know theirs, or even have any. Once these goals are established, we then try and come up with a plan to achieve those goals. Once we are on the same page, the dictator style tends to kick in.

I tell them they have told me what they would like to achieve, now it is my job to help them get there. To do that I again will use different styles. I don’t believe one way of dealing with a certain player will work on everyone. With some, you have to be offering to guide them along to get them where they want or need to go, with others you tend to give them a push, and some you have to hit over the head with a virtual two-by-four.

Some kids need to have a more aggressive approach. I had one kid last year I started out with in a nice fatherly way. That didn’t seem to work, then I switched to a more collaborative style and again that didn’t work and finally I just said I am the boss and you will do what you are told, and if you don’t you will spend your games sitting on the bench next to me. It took a few games, but he eventually came around to my way of thinking. To this day I am sure he is one of the rare kids that hates me, but somewhere down the road I am still hoping he realizes what I was trying to do was as much for his future life as for his basketball life. For the record, he played some amazing basketball when he did what I was asking of him. Unfortunately, there were other issues there with his parents, etc. But, that’s a post for another day.

I have a rule my players all know. I won’t take you out of a game for making a mistake. I believe to get better you have to screw up. Errors of distraction get dealt with, but errors of aggression are fine. Now, if you repeatedly make a mistake, I will take you out, discuss with you and put you back in the game immediately.

You can be the kind of basketball coach who yells and screams at players, a la Bobby Knight. I think players just tend to tune you out after awhile. I rarely have raised my voice, except for dramatic effect. I would guess if you asked players who have played for me the number of times they have seen me angry, they could count them on one hand with a few fingers left over.

If you are like most coaches, your style will start out one way and evolve over the years, until you find one that fits your personality and the personality of your team.

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Beginning

August 4, 2010

What first made you decide you wanted to coach basketball? For me, it was when my daughter decided to play, when she was 9 years old. I had made the decision that even though I knew nothing about basketball, I wanted to be the one who coached her. I knew I was committed and I [...]

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