I wonder how many of us ever thought about this. Do we really proactively seek out to have a great relationship with our coach? I feel like sometimes we play against the current and fight tooth and nail not to like our coach.
Is it because he/she might yell at us? Or criticize our play at times?
Is it because we may disagree with him/her? How many times have you turned your back and rolled your eyes at your coach during practice after they stopped the play to do their job and correct the minor thing you did wrong?
You must understand that coaches cannot accept mediocrity from you, because that means they accept mediocrity from themselves…not setting up your cut correctly in practice may seem minor at the time but come game time that can result in not getting a decent shot off, you add up 3 or 4 of those per game, you’re leaving points on the floor.
As a player, take your relationship with your coach seriously. Meaningful relationships last past the 4 years you play for him/her and it’s important for you to understand how to build, manage and create a meaningful, trustworthy relationship with your coach.
Think about it…if you’re a high school senior trying to play college ball somewhere, guess who just may know someone and recommend you? Your coach.
Think about it…if you’re a college senior looking to get a job right after graduation, guess who may know the hiring manager at the consulting firm down the street? Your coach.
I have written down 6 key things you can do to have the type of relationship you want and need with your current coach.
Being reliable extends beyond the hardwood; can your coach depend on you to go to class? Can he trust you to help guide the younger players? Does he trust that you are training hard this off season or does he have to micro-manage your day to day activities?
I spoke to a few of my ex-coaches this weekend and asked; what’s the biggest detriment they have seen over the years, honesty was number 1. Coaches get lied too constantly, whether it’s about when you tell them you went to class but didn’t, or when you got detention and told them it wasn’t your fault or when you lied to them about being late for practice. Respect your coach enough to always be honest with them, in the end lying will only make it worse and damage the relationship. Think about it, if you get told something that isn’t true isn’t it hard for you to ever trust that person again? Remember that next time you lie.
Show up on time
Ever heard of Lombardi time? Start doubling that! Nothing agitates a coach more than a kid showing up late. Don’t ever let it happen, not once. Being late is a slap in the face to the coach’s vision, discipline and long-term strategy with your team. Personally, there is nothing worse in my book then a kid showing up late. If you don’t drive, make sure you have a ride the night before, get a bike, walk – I don’t care, show up 20-30min before you have to be there.
Promote the program, when you win a big game and talking to the media; give a shout out to your coach and his play calling. Coaches like to hear you have their back and are aware they know what they are doing. It could be as simple as telling your Father in the car ride home how you thought coach did a good job today.
Always keep an open and honest line of communication with your coach. Set weekly meetings with him/her. Most coaches (if not all) have an “open door” policy – take advantage of that. If you’re struggling with remembering a few plays, ask them to stay after with you and watch film or walk you through them for 5minutes after practice. If academics are tough at the time, let your coach know – maybe he/she can get you a tutor or extra help. Also know, communication is a 2-way street, sometimes it just takes genuinely listening and applying what you hear.
Take pride in your work
Coaches can see right through “fake-hustle” and notice pure passion from the start. If you take pride in your work, the coach is going to take pride in your work, that’s when you start maximizing your talent.
They got your back:
If you do these 6 simple things, your coach will have your back. Is there anything better as a player when you take the ball hard to the rack, get fouled but nothing gets called and you hear your coaching sticking up for you? It makes you play harder for him/her, right? It gives you more confidence as a player to know that your coach is going to support you no matter what.
In the end, it’s not worth going against the grain of your coach, embrace his/her philosophy, build a meaningful relationship with them and get the most out of your time in their program.
Now, I do need to address that unfortunately at the junior high and high school level (and even in college) there are a few instances of just having a bad coach. This happens, and you got the raw end of the deal here.
Does it suck, yeah it does. But you can only control what you do, how you act and what you say. It could be as simple as not being the right fit, physically or personally, that’s okay it happens the key is to know when it’s not working and try something different. But remember, don’t burn any bridges and still be respectful.
(if you would like to download this and place it in your basketball notebook, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2egkv7z )