Thursday, July 5, 2012


Head coach Norman Dale & assistant Shooter
Having a healthy relationship amongst your coaching staff is extremely important.  Whether your staff consists of just two or as many as six coaches there are some priorities for both the assistant(s) and head coach to consider.  Players can sense and see the rapport a staff has, and the healthier it is the better chance the rapport among the players will be strong as well.

1. Work ethic.  Be a good example for the players in your basketball program.  Show the head coach and athletic director that you are willing to go above and beyond.  Help work with the youth programs, work summer camps, help with scouting assignments, etc.
2. Loyalty.  An assistant coach needs to be loyal to the head coach.  Support the head coach publicly.  There will be times when you disagree with the decisions of the head coach, but you have to keep that within your staff.  Letting people in the public know you would have done things differently is unhealthy for your program. 
3. Assertiveness.  The last thing a head coach needs is for an assistant to be a "Yes Man".  It is completely healthy for an assistant coach and head coach to have discussions about things they disagree on.  Coaches that speak their mind to one another help each other to continue to grow as coaches.  This in turn will help the continued growth of the program you help lead. 
4. Knowledge.  Make sure you understand the system and style of play of your team.  Each coach has their individual beliefs and style, which is great.  But there are going to be some things in the program the assistant is going to have to know completely.  Examples could range from anything from an offense, defense, to how you teach a defensive stance.  Whatever it is, the assistant must know it well.
5. Patience.  Many assistant coaches want to move up the ladder and become a head coach.  Assistant coaches must remember that your journey to a head coaching position is not going to happen overnight.  In most cases it takes some time.  Be patient.  To help you get to the top quicker the best thing for you to do is to continue to the best assistant coach you can be.  If this is your goal, keep that goal at the forefront of your mind, but control what you can control right now.  if you do this your time to become a head coach will come soon enough.

1. Delegate.  Give your assistants specific jobs or responsibilities.  Some assistants can handle more than others.  Know the strengths and weaknesses of each assistant.  If they have a particular strength, let them use that to help make your team/program better.  No matter how big or small you feel it is, the fact that your assistant(s) know you trust them to be in charge of something will do wonders for the overall atmosphere of your staff.  It will also help them continue to grow as a coach.
2. Collaborate.  Include your assistants in the decision making process.  The head coach will make the final decision, but discussions amongst your assistants will help make the best decision.
3. Lead.  The head coach needs to be the leader.  Even though the head coach will delegate and collaborate there should be no doubt they are the leader of the team and program.
 4. Mentor.  The head coach does more than teach players how to run an offense, run a defense, how to set a screen, or seal on a post up.  They also are a mentor to their players and assistants.  It is the responsibility of the head coach to make sure their assistants are continuing to learn the game of basketball, showing them how to run a program, and how to treat people.  Your assistants will more than likely want to be a head coach someday.  If the head coach is a good mentor for for their assistants they are in essence "paying it forward" to ensure the game will continue to prosper.

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