Basketball player development coaches assist head coaches in helping teams achieve their goals. The role of the player development coach depends on the size of the basketball program and on how much the head coach delegates authority. Becoming a player development coach requires dedication and persistence. If you want it, basketball must become your life.
Basically, basketball player development coaches are assistants. Their role changes based on the needs of the program and the head coach. At the high school and youth basketball levels, a player development coach may perform menial tasks such as cleaning equipment. College player development coaches help with recruitment and monitor academic compliance. At the professional level, this coach could have focused duties, such as helping players become better defenders. All player development coaches play a supporting role to the head coach. The head coach serves as supervisor and mentor to the player development coach.
Build a Basketball Background
Because basketball player development coaches wear many hats, they must have a solid background in the sport. They may analyze film, diagram plays or work on specific shots with players. If you have no experience coaching, start wherever you can. Try Catholic leagues, other youth leagues or high schools. Volunteer to work as an official, score keeper or coordinator at local basketball tournaments. Unless you were a superstar college or professional player, such participation and history serve as the most important parts of your resume.
Seek Out Mentors
Any longtime, successful head basketball coach has what is called a "coaching tree." Her tree grows from the many former assistants who become head coaches themselves. Most of these branches on a coaching tree began as assistants and player development coaches. Many are former players for these coaches. If you're serious about climbing through the ranks, seek out coaching mentors. Volunteer or apply for coaching internships. Basketball coaches love to promote from within. No matter how low your rank, having a successful coach as a mentor puts you in the line of succession.
Join Basketball Coaching Organizations
Basketball coaching organizations provide an environment to nurture your career. They post job openings for player development positions on their websites and also provide seminars and networking opportunities. These organizations can also connect you to mentors. Join local, national and international coaching associations. And don't just join: Get involved. Attend clinics, conferences and workshops. Involvement with these organizations shows a commitment to the sport. It will also widen your network, essential to landing that dream coaching job.
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