Any coach worth their salt will tell you Basketball Coaching is a very challenging and demanding activity. Basketball Coaching because of the competitive nature of sport means there is always a very high level of energy and effort that is demanded. In addition, by the very nature of sport there is always a shortage of coaches while programs are growing and so many coaches have to coach across a number of teams and competitions. It is easy then to see why so many basketball coaches struggle to have longevity in the sport.
Looking at this from the big picture of basketball’s development everywhere it is important to not only be recruiting and developing new coaches but also keeping coaches involved in the sport at every level for as long as possible. Boards, Committees, Sports Administrators must attempt to create an atmosphere where value is placed on coaching and there is a reward for those coaches who contribute so much to the develop of basketball.
There are some strategies that will help with basketball coaching for longevity. Some of these options are discussed below.
The first strategy when basketball coaching for longevity is to start using a daily and weekly planner. Many people use this technique in general for the management of their professional workplace time and the same principle works for basketball coaches just as well as it does for managers in all workplaces. Some people when reading this will ask themselves though what is so good about have a daily planner? The simple answer is it gives you a guide as to what you need to achieve each day. The real discipline comes in sticking to the times and tasks allocated. If you do not you will soon find some things take priority over others and aspects of wellbeing like family, social or spiritual dimensions will be pushed back further and further if a commitment is not made to maintaining the planners activities.
The next opportunity for improving your longevity in basketball coaching comes in the form of choosing opportunities for professional development. A basketball coach who does not continue to see new and innovative ideas can find they become a little complacent and stale. This can be avoided by looking for regular opportunities for learning and inspiration. This can take many different forms and can include activities like attending Workshops, Coaching Conferences, Assistant Coaching with a Senior Coach, regularly visiting a Coaching Forum, undertaking some formal or informal training, or just taking some time out each and every week to do your own private research. There are many, many options to choose from.
Please remember in regards to workshops, etc. that these can have a general focus across all sports, basketball specific or for another sport. There is nothing wrong with visiting the Coaches Conference for a different sport other than basketball, there are still ideas from many sports that a basketball coach can appreciate and learn from.
Another way to deal with extending a career in basketball coaching is to look at other opportunities to contribute to your local basketball organisation. Sometimes the actual role of basketball coaching becomes a little too demanding and a break from this activity, while still contributing is an option. This can be achieved by undertaking other roles within the basketball organisation (school, college, club, association, or commercial entity). This might mean filling a position on a committee, taking over a coaching coordinator role or becoming a mentor. All of these opportunities and countless others around a basketball community will add value and still keep a coach involved while have a change of perspective.
This is most obviously seen at the professional levels of the sport where coaches regularly leave a coaching appointment to take up another position to only return later to the coach fraternity.
The final point is that a break can always be taken from basketball coaching and all activities. This is probably the least desirable from the perspective of the basketball community as losing a coach is never a good thing. However, if it means the coach returns following a break and goes onto bigger and better things then a break might be the right choice. Try setting a timeline for a return to coaching return to help manage the length of the break.
In conclusion, by basketball coaching you are fulfilling a vital role within your basketball community. It is not reasonable to think however that everything else comes second in a person’s life, especially at the junior and volunteer levels of the sport. When a coach steps into the professional sphere things obviously change, but for the hardwood warriors’ day in and day out who are making contributions to their sport through volunteer hours there is a need to have a balanced perspective for longevity in basketball coaching.