How to become a basketball coachCoaching basketball is a tough job. I have always contended that coaching basketball allows someone to reach both ends of the feelings spectrum because a coach can feel utter happiness or deep sorrow. The reward to stress ratio is probably one to one. Coaching basketball probably takes years off of your life, but to successfully build a team and program and to help boys and girls grow into men and women has to be one of the most gratifying feelings in the world. Getting into the coaching game is not always the easiest. This guide will teach you how to become a basketball coach.

Go to School

  • Earn a Bachelor degree
  • There is no specific requirement for what your Bachelor degree has to be in.
  • It would be helpful if it were in exercise and physical education. However, there are schools that offer programs specifically related to coaching. They are not basketball coaching degrees, but they are coaching degrees and certificates.
  • These degrees are typically centered around athletic coaching and sports administration.
    • Some of the more common classes include: Physiological issues in coaching, athletic injury, kinesiology, coaching principles, Sports industry, ethics in coaching, coaching administration, and sports finance.
  • Coaching youth programs typically only require some form of an athletic certificate.
  • Coaching at the collegiate level requires a Bachelor degree and sometimes even a Graduate degree in coaching education or athletic administration.
  • A few schools that offer coaching degrees
    • The University of Southern Mississippi, American Public University, Arizona State University, Ohio University, Xavier University, and Northcentral University.

Get Experience

  • To get a job as an assistant basketball coach, you’ll need to start somewhere right?
  • While in school, get involved with the basketball team in some manner.
    • You can work as the team manager.
      • This will allow you to see how a college coach prepares practices, scouting, and game plans.
    • Be the Video Coordinator.
      • The assistant coaches will rely on you for game tape and may let you get a glimpse into their mind as to how scouting is done. You will watch hours of film and will draw the opponents plays. You may even be able to put stuff into your teams’ scouting guide.
    • Use this time to learn to love breaking down opposing teams’ player tendencies and opposing coach’s play calling tendencies.
    • You can work as a student assistant coach.
    • You can volunteer at the local high school or middle school to be an assistant coach.
      • This will help you be accustom to dealing with different personalities and skillsets.
    • Work as an assistant coach.
      • Assistant coaches often catch the ire of the head coach’s frustration when the team is performing poorly.
      • An assistant coach is loyal to the head coach and checks his/her ego at the door.
        • Assistant coaches should use all of the same terminology as their head coach as to not confuse the players.
        • An assistant coach should learn every aspect of being a coach. I’ve seen my former assistant coaches transition from mopping a floor before and after practice to running a practice entirely on their own.
      • There are rankings among assistant coaches in which you will probably start at the bottom of the totem pole.


Obtain more Certifications and other Education

  • Be CPR and first aid certified.
  • Attend seminars from other great coaches.
  • Going to coaching clinics and seminars will only open your eyes to different strategies and ways to interact with players.
  • Some coaches are hard-nosed in your face coaches that like to control the game. While other coaches will dance and celebrate with their players while allowing for a relatively free flowing game where players make certain reads, but are never running a set offense.
  • USA basketball offers coaching clinics. Nike does the same and well as people like Jay Bilas.
  • It’s simply a good idea to expand your knowledge of the game.


Work on your Network

  • How to become a basketball coach can be equally weighted between your skills and your network.
  • Knowing the right people to get your foot in the door is essential to landing a coaching job.
  • Learning under a big name will often help land you more lucrative coaching positions.
    • Think I’m wrong? Just look at Gene Keady’s coaching tree. You will see that the majority of his former players or pupils that made a career of coaching are at big time schools coaching.
  • Being able to interact with people and players is probably the most important thing in basketball. You could have the best basketball IQ on the planet, but without being able to properly relay the message, it’s just useless knowledge.


Just Win Baby Win

  • In order to be considered for a head coaching position, you must have a winning track record. Whether that be as a player or as an assistant coach, you must come from a winning program.
  • This shows that you will bring talent and attention to the team which ultimately translates into dollars.

How to become a basketball coach? Well, it’s easily said but not so easily done. You will have to endure small paychecks and a lot of hours of hard work, but with the right mindset you can achieve your goals. It’s important to have a deep, deep passion for the game of basketball because for many months out of the year, your life will be consumed by basketball. Whether that be driving hours to visit a recruit, watching AAU games, or breaking down tape, you will be enveloped by basketball.

Educate yourself about the human body and how the mind responds to certain scenarios. Work on your coaching style and your relationship with players. It is extremely important to continue to build your network. The word competence is not typically listed in the job description of a basketball coach. It’s often about who you know rather than what you know. Lastly, winning is key. Basketball is a game of what have you done for me lately.