The following list is a page from my planner that I read a couple of times a month to try to keep myself focused and to stay true to what I believe. I put them together from various sources and from trying to think about and express in writing what I believe about a basketball program. I also used them for interviews for jobs and to share with assistant coaches or potential assistants that I was interviewing. If nothing else, I hope it gives you an idea to start your own list.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,Your words
become your actions,Your actions become
your habits,Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
I believe it is worth your time over the holiday break to spend some time putting your basketball coaching beliefs in writing to help you “walk your talk.”
I know that you won’t agree with all of these and that you probably have more and better ideas to add to mine, but I hope this serves to stimulate your thoughts.
1. The program must have an overriding purpose which is clearly visible and which teaches lessons beyond basketball.
2. We are not only striving to develop fine basketball players but fine citizens as well.
3. All participants are representatives and ambassadors of our High School and must attempt to create and leave a good impression wherever they are and wherever they go.
4. A good basketball program helps students to be less self centered and more aware of others.
5. The head coach must run the show and accept the responsibility when things do not go right.
6. The head coach is accountable for the program. If the coach isn’t in charge, then you don’t need a coach.
7. You do the best you can to reach every participant, and make good decisions knowing that you can’t reach every participant or please everyone.
8. The team will take on the personality of the coach. He must lead by example.
9. An intense, poised, and confident coach will be reflected on the floor by his players.
10. A coach gets what he expects, inspects, and accepts.
11. A team will not execute in games what it has not been prepared to execute by rehearsals in practice.
12. Coaches and players must have mutual respect for one another.
13. It is our (coaches) job. It is their game. The program should be fun for the participants.
14. You have to play very, very, very hard.
15. All players and coaches must always put team success ahead of individual success.
16. No one is indispensable to our program.
17. Every player can make a definite contribution to team success, but in different ways.
18. Team success often follows individual sacrifice.
19. No one likes to be criticized, but players must learn to accept constructive criticism.
20. When a player ceases to learn he starts downhill.
21. The coach must be demanding without being demeaning.
22. Discipline precedes team morale.
23. The three factors that have the greatest influence on winning are not turning the ball over, shot selection, and defense.
24. Our team determines the outcome of the game. There are always reasons for losses and poor playing – never excuses. Victory with honor should be the goal of our team.
25. Defense and offense must flow together and be complimentary.
26. Our system should be easily adaptable to different opponents, to different levels within our program, to our personnel changes from year to year, and during games.
27. The spirit and morale of the reserves will influence those who are playing. If a player can’t sit on the bench and root for the team at all times, he should sit in the stands.
28. The way to improve the team is to improve the individual. Players, not plays win games. The only way for an individual to improve is to work at an uncomfortable pace.
29. Every player must realize his limitations and play accordingly. We can help each and every player to improve his basketball abilities and those limitations.
30. Basketball is a game played with the hands, feet, head and heart and is a contact sport. Each player must be willing to give up his body at times for the good of the team.
31. Basketball is a game of pressures and the successful players learn to adjust to these pressures.
32. We must respect all opponents but fear none.
33. There is a difference between a physical error of commission and a mental lapse.
34. A player should never relax on the floor. Hustle and desire will sometimes compensate for ability.
35. A team that will talk on the floor in practice and in games will learn to work together. A team is more than the sum of its parts.
36. Determination and practice preparation – not luck wins the “close ones.” You learn, think and repeat in practice, so you can react correctly in games.
37. A participant’s goal should be to become the best basketball player he is capable of being and our team goal should be to become the best team we are capable of being. It takes months of intense practice in and out of season to become a skilled basketball player. You improve by competing against yourself, not your opponent.
38. Learning how to prepare to win is one of the most important lessons we teach.
39. There is a fine line between winning and losing in High School Basketball. Much of this line is composed of GUTS determined by ATTITUDE, CONDITIONING, and DISCIPLINE.
40. Skill in performing fundamentals is acquired by habit.
41. Attitude is extremely important because ones “habit of thought”: will prevail in the heat of competition.
42. Discipline, toughness, and executing fundamentals are extremely important factors in most games.
43. Both individual and team fundamentals are taught by repetition with variety until they become habit.
44. Players must learn to play hurt but not injured. We define hurt as pain or discomfort, and injured as a condition that may lead to more damage.
45. Many games are lost by players and coaches attempting to make plays that they are not capable of and failing. We play within ourselves during games and push our limits so we can improve in practice.
46. I want to delegate as much as I can and use technology to free up as much time as possible to spend thinking about how to make our team and program better. There are team management apps that allow you to have immediate access to player and parent contact information on your desktop workstation, tablet, or phone. However, there are other ways to make the job of managing your entire program easier as well. Team management tools, like TeamSnap, can also automate a lot of these processes for you to help you streamline communication with your entire program or club. In addition to letting you create, update and store a team roster, tools like TeamSnap let you see players’ availability for games and practices, assign responsibilities such as post game food or snacks, and keep track of who has paid their equipment fees, and completed their paperwork.