1) Join Twitter- Join twitter and follow as many coaches as you can, follow successful teams or even search “#coach” and see what comes up, there are many coaches out there that can provide you with great tips on all areas of coaching.
2) Watch a Professional team practice- Not only can you see what they do at training and use ideas but you also get a feel for the intensity they practice at. Many realise how basic their practice is, fundamentals are of huge importance.
3) Become an expert in an area- Coaching is the same as your everyday life, where you put work in you get results, if you start doing bicep curls 3 times per week then you’re going to get bigger arms- the same goes with coaching- dedicate some time to an area of your coaching and you will soon improve and become an expert in it.
4) Watch a game and don’t watch the ball- Watch what is happening off the ball, down the ground/court etc. Look at the things happening where the ball is not- it is amazing how much you will see that you don’t normally see.
5) Look at the fine detail- E.g.- Ball handling- what makes a good ball handler, what do good ball handler’s do that others don’t. Look at these skills and design drills and games to make this happen in high repetition. Make sure you are looking at the details.
6) Make practice fun- If a player is having fun then practice become less of a chore. A player that enjoys their time at the club will work harder, learn better and get more out of every practice session.
7) Find ways to replicate the game at practice- Some of the above points will help with this. Movement patterns, ball handling, pressure, decision making etc.- fill your practice with as many game situations as you can.
8) Play games- Players love to play games- Make them related to your sport and the players will love this. Games are fun, they show who is competitive and who can make good decisions under pressure.
9) Good support- You can’t do it all by yourself and expect great results. If you spread yourself to thin then you can’t be excel in certain areas. Surround yourself with people who are good in areas that you are not and people who will challenge you to be better.
10) Have a plan- Know what you’re doing each session and make sure you, your coaches and your players know what you want to get from each drill. Review yourself, your fellow coaches, training etc.- discuss what worked and what didn’t, and what can we do better next time.
5 Bonus ideas to help you to become a better coach.
1) Say US- not me, I, or you – use the word US- This gets the point across that everyone is 1 (together) Remember there is no I in Team!
2) Practice not training- Training is done on a running track or gym- Practice is done on the field/ground/court and the idea is to practice the skills to become a better player/team.
3) Ask questions- Even if you know the answer- Ask players their thoughts, make them explain things back to you, ask for their input.
4) Take a step back- Sit back and watch practice from the outside- you will see things that you never see when you are involved.
5) Talk to your players- Before the session, during the session, after the session, on the phone- get to know these guys and what makes them tick- at the end of the day they are the ones who decide your coaching future.