If you’re on this site, chances are that you have some interest in basketball coaching. Being a great basketball coach is something every coach strives for, but not every one can reach. These traits of a great basketball coach are traits you can expect the great coaches to encompass.
- Caring – A great coach cares deeply about each individual in their program. This goes all the way from assistant coaches to the managers and all of their families. They let everyone in their program know that they care for them.
- Communication – Great coaches are able to communication their vision clearly. Whether that be in a practice, a game, a pre-game speech, etc., what they are communicating is absorbed and executed by their teams.
- Teamwork – This goes for getting their players to play as a collective unit, and teamwork on the sidelines with their assistant coaches. It takes a village to have a successful basketball team, and it starts with the head coach.
- Leadership – This one is a no-brainer. A great coach has to be an effective leader, on and off the court. If the leadership at the top is poor, the team has minimal chances for success.
- Ability to Teach – A coach is a teacher. They are constantly teaching the game, life lessons, and more. Great coaches are able to articulate what they want out of their players and coaches and teach them the best way to get to that point.
- Work Ethic – A great coach is the hardest worker in the entire program. They tirelessly work to improve the program, day in and day out.
- Love What They Do – The second a coach isn’t loving what they do, they should get out of coaching. A great coach loves the entire process of building and growing a team.
- Respect – Just as respect should be expected from their players, a coach must also give respect to their players.
- Passion – Great coaches have a passion not only for the game, but for what they are doing. They wake up every morning excited for the journey ahead of them.
- Energy – Piggy-backing off of the passion, the energy of a coach is very important. The entire program will feed off of it.
- Personal Development – Nobody is going to start out in coaching as a great coach. Coaches become great coaches by constantly learning and personal development.
- Ability to Adapt – Throughout the course of a season, or even a game, things are going to change. Great coaches are able to adapt and keep their team rolling.
- Basketball IQ – Basketball IQ is important to being a great coach. Recognizing situations and putting their team in great situations to succeed is vital.
- Organization – A lot goes into running a successful basketball program. Without proper organization, things can slip through the cracks and the team will suffer.
- Delegation – Great coaches understand that it takes a village (as noted earlier). Being able to delegate to assistant coaches and managers is important.
- Skill Building – Great coaches recognize what it takes to help build skills for the players in their program.
- Offensive Philosophy – A coach should have an offensive philosophy that he follows and highlights for his team. Everybody in the program should be on the same page about what the philosophy is.
- Defensive Philosophy – Just like offensive philosophy, defensive philosophy is obviously important for basketball coaches. Again, everybody in the program should be on the same page about this.
- Discipline – Without discipline, programs can become a circus. Great coaches recognize that discipline is needed across the board for their programs to be successful.
- Motivation – Great coaches are able to motivate their teams to play to the best of their ability, not only in games, but also in practices.
- Planning – Without proper planning, programs can get stuck in mediocrity. Coaches have to coach in the present, but also plan for the future.
- Involvment – A coach should make sure his players know that he wants to be involved in their life outside of the game. They should know about their school work, home lives, and more, so that they’re able to connect with their players on a deeper level.
- Objective – Great coaches are able to put any personal connections aside and coach each player objectively.
- Attention to Detail – A great coach is very detail-oriented and pays special attention to even the smallest of details to make sure his team is operating at 100% efficiency.
Obviously there are far more traits that great coaches have that aren’t in the list above. With that said, the list above is a great starting point if you have aspirations to be a great coach.
Start with one or two of the traits and really focus on them for a week or two until they become second-nature, and then move on to a couple more to focus on until all of these come to you naturally.
Have more traits you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments!