I recently read this quote from Phil Beckner, Weber State University Assistant Coach and it got me thinking about how parents, coaches, and players might benefit from Coach Beckner’s advice.
Do you remember the colleague at your job that burned you when it was time for a promotion? Do you remember the parent from your kid’s team that wouldn’t help out and give some teammates a ride to the game? Do you remember the coach that you tried to contact that repeatedly wouldn’t return your phone calls? I would bet that all of us have vivid memories of someone who stuck it to us in one way or another. What does this have to do with basketball you ask? You should always remember, “Be nice and try to help everyone.” This is easy to say, but often we make excuses for why we don’t help. I’m too busy. That guy never helps out. They wouldn’t appreciate it anyway. Forget the excuses and help make youth basketball a better place for everyone involved.
Help out your kid’s coach by reinforcing his or her messages at home. Don’t badmouth the coach or other players, especially in front of your child after a game.
Offer to give a ride to another player on the team who needs to get to practice or a game and their parent just can’t do it.
Try to get along with other parents from your child’s team. (You can do it if you really try). Be the parent everyone in the stands wants to sit by, not the obnoxious jerk everyone slides away from once the game starts. Get along with, ignore, or even try to educate parents from the other team too. Yes, they may be rude, cheer against your kids, or yell obscenities but chances are you’ll never see them again. Set a positive example for your young player with the way you handle adversity.
Keep other parents informed about schedules, practices, and games.
We’re all busy, spin it positive and refer to your life as “full” instead and try to find a way to make your young player’s basketball experience better!
Remember why you are coaching basketball in the first place. Treat your players with respect. Your goals should be to develop good people on and off the court, use basketball to teach life skills, improve the basketball skills of each individual player, and build positive team spirit. The games are for the players, not for you to show off your coaching genius.
Be nice to officials. I get it. It’s hard to do sometimes. Officials blow calls, they may not acknowledge you on the sideline, maybe they’re just jerks, but your players are watching and they take their cues from you.
Help out other coaches. Put in a good word for them if someone asks. Share your knowledge with a young coach. Most of us have learned what we teach from someone else, so don’t be afraid to share. If you’re an assistant, try to anticipate the needs of the head coach and make their job easier. If you’re a head coach, give your assistants more responsibility and respect.
Communicate with parents. 99% of problems can be prevented or resolved with good communication. Don’t try to hide from a parent who has an issue, hear them out at an appropriate time (not right after a game when emotions are running high). Make sure parents know your expectations from the start and it will much easier to have parents on your side. They may not be as experienced as you when it comes to basketball. Help them understand what you expect of them and their child so the experience is a good one for all involved.
Be competitive and a good sport at the same time. Try as hard as you can to win while respecting the game and your opponent.
Your coach has your best interest at heart. They are trying to make you better and push you farther than you may want to push yourself. Keep negative thoughts and comments to yourself. We all have them, smart players don’t let them out.
Treat all your teammates with respect, regardless of their status on the team. Remember, just because you’re a starter now doesn’t mean you will be at the next level. If you help everyone on the team get along and build team unity, success won’t be far behind.
Learn early on in life that people are much more likely to help you along if you’re nice to them. That includes coaches, teachers, parents, teammates, custodians, grocery clerks, and just about any other person you can think of. Leave a good impression with everyone you come in contact with. Help someone out without being asked! You never know when you will see them again.
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