Tips on Dealing with a Bad Coach

It is not always that players get to work with good coaches. Sometimes, they encounter coaches who are very much manipulative, authoritative, sarcastic, narrow-minded and many other negative things you can think about.

Imagine a player who commits even a single mistake. For example, the player tries to execute press defense against an opponent, but then he commits a foul. Usually, a bad coach would shout to his player at the top of his lungs. He does not care who is watching. What he cares about is for his player to play perfect basketball, and it does not stop there. You will see that he’ll pull out the faulty player and continue to shout at him, uttering words that can frustrate the player. At times, bad coaches throw a finger point in the face of a player and tell him how bad he screwed up.

See how frustrating these kinds of coaches can be. If a player is very vulnerable, he might not be able to perform his basketball obligations properly. Players have to remember that coaches put together their teams, and in most cases it is not going to be the player who will choose the coach he would like to play for.

Now, if a player wants to pursue a career in basketball, he must know how to handle these kinds of coaches. I will try to present some tips on how players can deal with bad coaches.

1. Be patient.
This should be at the top of the list. If your coach is constantly nagging you at practice, or during actual ball games, be patient. Patience can do lots of things for you. It can keep your head in the game, it can maintain your self-confidence, and it prevents you from being frustrated. Patience is always a virtue. One way or another, you can keep your temper down, preventing you from talking back to your coach. You can preserve yourself as an individual with proper ethics and values.

2. Listen
You know how bad your coach is. However, you should also bear in mind that he is still the one who should know the best about the game. Therefore, you should still listen to his directions. Also, you can also be aware that you are playing the wrong kind of basketball. I mean, on the positive side, these types of coaches are not ashamed to make you realize which mistakes you are committing. Learn to correct those mistakes and move on.

3. Do not let his temper get into you.
Now, your coach is telling you bad stuff. How should you deal with it? Control yourself and do not allow his temper to get into you. To do this, be selective in listening to what your coach has to say. Pay attention to your mistakes and his corrections, and disregard any form of trash talks, even if it is hard. It is better to remain calm because you can maintain your attention to what you are doing, which is helping your team stay in the game.

4. Focus
No matter what your bad coach says, maintain your focus in the game. The only person who can defeat you is yourself; not your opponent and not your coach. Exercise your mental toughness. Do not let a bad coach eat you.

5. Fight the burden of humiliation.
Bad coaches do things that can humiliate their players. They may not know it at the moment because they are mad. Nevertheless, they still humiliate their players and humiliation can bring a player down. His self-confidence can go so low to a point that he does not want to play at all. A player should act maturely to fight this kind of situation.

Also, bad coaches use a bad approach in dealing with their players because they want their players to be motivated that way. It is like a reverse psychology. They tend to frustrate and humiliate their players so that they can be motivated to do well. However, the real disadvantage is that players may be ruled by fear. It can either make or break a player and it is not a healthy form of motivation. Instead, they should be ruled by inspiration and love.

6. Talk if you think you need to.
If you think you have something to say, say it. Let your coach know how you feel towards his approach. If you think that your coach acts too much and is already below the belt, you should inform him. It should be a great awakening for him that he does not know how to deal with his players. Let him realize that he is a bad coach. If nobody does, he will never change because no one reacts. Also, if you think that he is making a wrong play, make valuable suggestions.

7. Respond politely.
When you try to talk with your coach, be polite. Maintain a low and soft tone of voice. You cannot respond intensely while your coach is at the height of his emotions. Do not fight fire with fire. It will just grow bigger. Whatever happens: Always keep it professional from your ends!

8. Try to be understanding.
Understand your coach. Study his ways and his personality. You might realize why is acting the way he does. This will keep you maintain an utmost respect for him, although you think that he is acting wrong.

No matter how frustrating bad coaches can be, a player should learn to adapt to them. However, it is wiser if a player can get into the mind and heart of the coach so that he can understand why the coach is acting that way. With that, he can think of ways on how to jive in with his bad coach. It is like getting the positive side of the bad coach, you start from there, and then you build a good working relationship with each other. This is not easy, but it the best way to get a long for a long season.

Nobody is perfect in this world. At times, people should be the one to understand and adapt other’s imperfections. In this way, you can maintain a neutral tension among you. However, if you think that you should fight for what you know is right, you have every right to voice out everything you would want to say. Every individual is entitled to their opinion.

Picture credit: Beth RankinCreative Commons Attribution