Assistant coaches are members of the coaching staff that contribute their knowledge and skills in helping the coach develop his players, as well as aiding the coaching in building an effective basketball system. The coach has a wide range of responsibilities. And so, he delegates some coaching responsibilities among his assistants.

It is within the coach’s discretion on what type of assistant coaches he should recruit for the benefit of the entire team. It is wise to acquire someone who has the necessary qualifications to perform the respective basketball coaching responsibilities.

Let’s sit back and think over the qualities that would make a good assistant coach.

1. Loyal
I assume that anyone of us does not want to work with a traitor. That would be very frustrating. An assistant coach must be loyal not just to the head coach, but also to the entire team. He has been given the chance, by the head coach, to show off his knowledge about the game. And so, he must have at least the heart to return the favor. He should be able to realize that he is trusted by each and everyone of the team. Loyalty is a very strong attribute an assistant coach must have to establish an effective working relationship with the people he is working around with.

2. Open minded and willing to learn
The same as the head coach, assistant coaches help nurture the players. Knowledge can be obtained by learning and trying new concepts and ideas. A good assistant coach is always ready to learn new things. He cannot assume that he knows everything, because if that is the case, he should have been picked to be the head of the coach. When his head coach explains or teaches him he is willing to embrace the new basketball education provided to him.

3. Able to understand his role in the team
An assistant coach has his own role delegated to him by the head coach. A good assistant coach is able to understand the scope and limitation of his role. For example, an assistant coach is given the task to ensure that the players come early every practice session. Another assistant coach has the role of assisting the players in pre-game drills.

4. Display an act of Professionalism
A good assistant coach properly responds to the demands of his job. As a member of a staff, he is always on time, carrys out specific roles, and well-groomed. Generally, an individual gains respect just by the way he carries himself. And so, coaches must look and act as professional individuals.

5. Establish good communication with players and their significant others, and fans
A good assistant coach gets to know the players and the coaching staff well enough. He tries to analyze and understand their total individuality. By doing this, he is able to create an effective way on how to approach them individually.

Communication is vital in working with basketball players and co-staff members. A good assistant coach has established good communication skills wherein he is able to convey his message to any person in the team. In addition, he is also a good listener. Good communicators do not do the talking all the time and take the time to listen and respect what the other person has to say.

As much as communicating with the team, a good assistant coach is able to converse well with other significant individuals who are part of the player’s lives like family members, relatives or fans. These people know the players better and can influence and motivate them. Assistant coaches must take them into consideration by communicating with them about the players’ progress, achievements, personal issues and other relevant information that is allowable for him to share.

6. Knowledgeable about the basketball program
Of course, a head coach will acquire someone who is well educated with the sport of basketball. A good assistant coach utilizes his knowledge of the sport by sharing his ideas with the head coach and to other members of the staff as well.

7. Has the desire to help a basketball porgram succeed
The desire of helping the team to succeed is instilled in the heart of a good assistant coach. He dedicates himself, and his time, to assist players in mastering offensive and defensive plays. He takes the time to assist every single player develop the many skills of basketball.

8. Goal–oriented individual
He helps in assisting the team in formulating goals. He sticks to that goal and makes it a guiding tool when helping the coach and his players. He repeatedly reminds the players about these goals so that they are constantly reminded about their purpose of playing the game.

9. Enthusiastic
A good assistant coach finds a way to make trainings and games as enjoyable as possible for the team. He brings enthusiasm among the members in order for them to make their basketball experience enjoyable. Pushing the players to the limit and controlling them by fear is just not healthy. Make them as comfortable as they can in performing their job.

10. One who has integrity
A good assistant coach is honest and consistent on his acts. He does what he says and he fulfills his promises. This is one great example of establishing an unquestionable character. A person with integrity is trusted by the people who work with him. It is important that players trust you so that they follow what you tell them.

11. Driven by motivation

He is motivated to do his job, and he uses and transfers that motivation to the coaches and players he works with. He motivates the coach to do what he has to do, and he motivates the players to perform their tasks on and off the court well.

12. Willingness to serve
He understands that he is not the utmost leader of the team. Instead, he follows what the head coach tells him to do and does not complain, unless some things are not justifiable. He is willing to render his service no matter what the cost.

13. Enjoys what he does
A good assistant coach enjoys what he does. A person is not motivated to perform his tasks, if he does not like what he is doing. He cannot function to his fullest potential, therefore it is important that a person finds the joy in everything that he does.

These characteristics should serve as a guide to coaches who would like to acquire a good assistant coach in addition to his coaching staff. Assistant coaches are very relevant for a basketball team to work in an organized and orderly manner. They usually calm the head coach down when he is mad during a bad call of in a game. They help the coach plan on new plays, drills, and etc. for the team’s improvement. And significantly, they help the head coach discipline and motivate players. These are just few of the numerous roles that assistant coaches contribute for building up a team‘s success.

[info_box]Picture credit: SD DirkCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]