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Basketball Coaches: The “Latin” of Coaching

Basketball Coaches: The “Latin” of Coaching

If you go to any bookstore’s Sports section, chances are that you will see a disproportionate number of coaching books written by basketball coaches. Seriously, check it out next time you’re in Barnes and Noble. So that got me thinking, “Why is that?” Do basketball coaches have a secret formula on great coaching? What is it about basketball coaches that make them so good at teaching other coaches how to coach?

Several factors make coaching basketball the “Latin” of coaching, My sense is that if you can coach basketball, you should be able to easily pick up and coach other team sports even if you have never played that sport. Why?

  • The classroom setting: The basketball court is a fairly enclosed space that is relatively small. One coach can easily be heard within those confines. Resembles a classroom. You’re not spread out on a football field. There is 1-2 coaches per 12 players allowing for maximum communication.
  • The fundamentals of basketball transfer over to other field sports where the goal is to score points/goals. Fundamentals such as the athletic position are common in many sports. The concepts of cutting, screening and switching/reversing the attack are also common. Looking for the 3v2 and 2v1’s are similar. The fundamentals of playing man to man defense, seeing man and ball, and shading towards ball side are all common with lacrosse and soccer.
  • All of the players need to learn the same basic concepts, cutting, screening, shooting, and defense. Compare this to football where you have the linemen, running backs, QB’s…all learning and focusing on different fundamentals. Baseketball is pretty much the same. Of course the post players may practice their post moves while the guards practice their dribbling. However, many coaches are not labeling players as guards and forwards. There are many offenses and defenses where the players are interchangeable.

So for all of you basketball coaches out there just starting your season, realize what your teaching these players will carry over to other sports. How you teach them will help you coach those other sports as well.

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