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Basketball Philosophy:
What does Coaching Mean for You?



Every coaching book ever printed contains the author's basketball philosophy. Maybe it's obvious - the coach discusses his thoughts about the game, about the place of coaching and athletics in players' lives, about strategies he or she has followed and why those strategies were chosen. Or maybe it's not so obvious - a description of a drill is, after all, just a drill. But why that drill is chosen and what that drill is intended to teach says something about what the coach is trying to do. Anytime someone talks about coaching, it doesn't take long to learn that coach's basketball philosophy.


It's in everything we do. How we prepare for the season, for practices, for games. How we interact with the players, officials, assistant coaches, parents, school community. How we conduct ourselves in the game. How we spend our offseason. All of it speaks of our personal outlook, our philosophy towards the game of basketball, and our role within that game.



Your Basketball Philosophy:
What Will They Learn?

Your coaching philosophy guides your decision-making. It focuses your actions, and it reminds you of the real purpose of coaching.

The real purpose is to win, right?

Well, no. Winning is not the purpose of coaching, it is the byproduct. If everything we do as coaches is done well, the team will win. If we don't do it right, we'll lose. And occasionally, even if we do everything right, we'll still lose - that's one of life's lessons in its own right.

But winning is not the purpose of coaching. The purpose of coaching is to improve the players in our charge. To introduce and refine the characteristics and personal abilities they have or need, in order for them to be successful. And then we give them the option to show that on the floor, in the game.

We do our job right, and our players - most of them, anyway - will become successes. Not just on the basketball court, because we aren't teaching them to be successful basketball players, we're teaching them to be successful people. Success on the basketball court, success in life.



Your Basketball Philosophy:
Defining Success

And while we're at it, let's take a look at what success on the court looks like. Win the game? Maybe a success; it depends on how the game was won and the attitudes displayed by all. Lose the game? Maybe a loss, maybe not. How can you call a game in which your team played it's hardest, never gave an inch for the entire 40 minutes, never gave up, accepted the result with honor and dignity - how can you call that game a loss, regardless of what the scoreboard says?

Listen to the personal success gurus, the people that sell millions of books and host seminars for thousand of people, and you'll find very similar lists of qualities that all successful people apparently share.

Here's a few qualities of successful people:

  • They set goals and constantly work towards them

  • They establish a "mastermind alliance" - a winning team

  • They learn from adversity and defeat

  • They enforce self-discipline

  • They go the extra mile

What do we teach our players? We teach them:

  • to decide what they need to improve on and then practice diligently until that skill/trait is improved

  • to play as a team

  • to use a loss as an opportunity to improve

  • to do what you're supposed to do, when you're supposed to do it, to the best of your ability

  • to give 110% every practice, every game

I think the similarities are clear - we aren't teaching basketball, we're teaching success.

And that's our basketball philosophy - what we want these players to know after they leave us. Most will not go on to play in the NBA. Most likely won't even play college ball. But they'll all do something with their lives, and what we teach them now will influence how they approach and perform in their chosen fields.

Your basketball philosophy is your own. It's really a philosophy on life, on how you believe we all should live our lives. But, unlike most other life philosophies, your coaching philosophy has the ability to truly impact other people, and change their lives.



More ideas to help develop your Basketball Philosophy here


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"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their players' heads and motivate."
- Vince Lombardi


















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