5 Rules of Basketball Coaching for Beginners

Basketball Coaching can be a very daunting activity for new and experienced coaches alike. Experienced coaches however, that have been coaching for a while will have developed, through their own mistakes, a list of rules, strategies or habits that will assist in making the roles and responsibilities of a basketball coach easier. These “Rules” for Basketball Coaching help outline the fundamental aspects of the role, which are non-negotiable.


The first rule for basketball coaching is to just show up. Sounds obvious, but many teams across the sport of basketball spend their entire existence without a coach. When you do not have a basketball coach then usually you will not have training sessions, which means the development of players is greatly affected. Without a basketball coach, player development suffers and eventually this leads to restrictions in competition and even an end to clubs, programs the sport.


Look for Support from the Community around you as a Coach (Source: Andrew Spillane)
Look for Support from the Community around you when Basketball Coaching (Source: Andrew Spillane)

The second rule of basketball coaching is to plan each session. Even if you only plan your session on the back of a napkin during your lunchtime break, take the time to make some notes and think about how you would like the session to progress. What technical skills are to be covered? What tactical strategy will be focused on during the session to help the team’s development?


The third rule of basketball coaching is find the equipment you need to coach. One of the more challenging aspects of coaching is not having access to equipment and resources. In most programs, junior, senior, semi-professional and professional there are few places in which everything is provided at the desired levels. Finding a basketball and a basketball hoop might your programs first step, but every journey starts with a step. Write to your local governing bodies, bigger basketball programs, and professional teams asking for resources and assistance. Most will help in some way, especially when the basics such as basketballs are being requested.


The forth rule of basketball coaching for beginners is to find a mentor. For all the obvious reasons many coaches never are able to follow the best rout of becoming a Head Coach by being an Assistant Coach first. Clubs, Associations, Schools, Colleges and many teams in general often find themselves in dire need of a basketball coach and a serve shortage of individuals interested in the role. This is when inexperienced parents, teachers, and others, step forward to fill this void. A mentor is vital to these beginner coaches in understanding and developing their knowledge and skills about the sport of basketball and coaching in general. A mentor can advise on technical and tactical aspects, visit training sessions and evaluate games. All of these activities will help a novice coach develop their craft of basketball coaching.


The final rule of basketball coaching is focus on improvement. As a new coach look to always invest one hour each week on becoming a better basketball coach. This may involve attending a workshop or camp, completing some internet research, reading a basketball coaching book, undertaking a coaching course or attending an experienced basketball coach’s session.


Basketball coaching is a challenging role, but the good news is as a beginner coach there are a lot of different avenues from which to find support, knowledge and guidance. Take the time to tap into some of these different support networks to gain the knowledge and skills you need to be a positive coach.



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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

2 Comments on “5 Rules of Basketball Coaching for Beginners

  1. I really like the last point about finding a mentor or a role model as a coach. It saves a lot of time and prevents a lot of failures if you can seek advice from someone that has already done it.

    • Finding a mentor for many people is challenging, because they see it as being outside their comfort zone or a reflection in some way on their coaching. Once a coach moves past this however the relationship can be a great source of knowledge and inspiration.

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