There are many types of goals that you can set as the coach of a basketball team. Firstly you will have to observe the type of league you are playing in. If it is competitive your goals will differ from a league that is purely recreational. Competitive leagues will focus more on the winning and statistical aspect, while recreational teams focus on the fun and team togetherness aspects.
If you are in a competitive league, you also have to keep in mind the past history of your team. If your team is new, then you can disregard this. If you are taking over an already existing team, you will find that one of your goals may simply be to improve your win/loss record. While this is a simple goal, it requires many smaller goals to achieve it. Just saying you want to win more does absolutely nothing. To achieve this goal, a coach will have to study many hours of film, and be involved in every aspect of practice. In doing this a coach will be able to identify any potential problems, and will be able to suggest and implement some measures that will go towards improving the team overall. These changes could be simple as additional drills, or just shifting around the players into positions that they may perform better in.
In recreational leagues, the goal is to improve the skills needed to play the game, but without the sole focus on winning. The focus is on actual enjoyment of the game by all involved, and sportsmanship. This isn’t to say that competitive leagues do not have courteous and sporting players, it is just not as primary of a focus as it is in a recreational league. Some professional leagues like the NBA have strict guidelines to govern how the players act and ensure that they are professional on and off the court.
Focusing on the team is also another way to resolve many problems. Basketball is a team sport and if any aspect of your team is failing to function at the quality and level that you require, then you will have to make changes. Whether the changes made are to a single member of the team or to the overall team as a whole. Sometimes just some small team building or fun exercises will put your team in the proper mindset and remove any negative effects or doubts that previous losses or events have caused. Some people will need one on one time with their coach, and that is up to the coach in some causes to identify. Not every player is able to come up and ask for help as occasionally the mentality is that indicates weakness, and people do not like to admit fault. All a coach can do is offer an open door and any help possible.
While there are many large goals, and small goals that help towards them, these are simply a small sampling of the problems and remedies a coach encounters in their everyday responsibilities. You don’t just have a game to win; you have a team to look after, on and off the court.
Photo credit: Zach Klein
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