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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball

by Tom Hanlon

As a parent, it is a proud day when your child joins his or her first sports team. It is important to you to be involved, which may be leading you to think about coaching. Nervous about the possibility? Don't be! With the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball, you will quickly and easily learn how to become a successful youth basketball


As a parent, it is a proud day when your child joins his or her first sports team. It is important to you to be involved, which may be leading you to think about coaching. Nervous about the possibility? Don't be! With the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball, you will quickly and easily learn how to become a successful youth basketball coach. This comprehensive, user-friendly reference guide will help you create a fun and effective learning environment. You have limited practice time and resources, and you need to know how to make the best of them. With this book, you will cover several key concepts that often elude rookie coaches, including:

  • Identifying your role and expectations as a coach.
  • Tailoring instruction to meet the varying physical abilities of different age groups.
  • Creating a safe playing environment.
  • Knowing how to effectively coach during both practices and games.
  • Learning how to communicate and form alliances with parents, league administrators, game officials and players.
On top of all this great material, we also provide you with access to a website where you can download practice plans, emergency information cards, injury reports, awards and certificates, and season evaluation forms. Ensure that you and your child's first basketball season are a success with Absolute Beginner's Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball.

Product Details

Publication date:
Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 8.97(h) x 0.63(d)

Read an Excerpt


It all began so innocently.

Just as the youth basketball league administrator asked for a volunteer to coach your son's team, you scratched the top of your head. All the other parents were studying, with sudden keen interest, their thumbnails or shoelaces. No eyes, except yours, were looking forward.

The administrator saw her chance.

"Excellent! We have a new coach!"

To your astonishment, you saw that she was pointing directly at you. Parents, with relieved looks on their faces, turned to look at you. Some smirked. A few chuckled. All were joyful.

"Relax," one parent said. "The season doesn't start till next week."

"My kid's a shooter. You ought to see him shoot that ball. He's always been top scorer," another parent said as he gave you a good view of the bulldog tattooed on his bicep.

"My son plays small forward," another parent added, as if he bought his son the position from the National Basketball Association, which had granted the boy sole rights to play small forward on your team.

"I never knew you could coach, Dad," your son said as you walked to your car.

"Sure I can coach," you said. "How difficult can it be?" You hoped you at least sounded convincing.

Each winter, all across America, youth basketball leagues swing into action. Every year, thousands upon thousands of new coaches are tabbed to guide the players. The majority of those coaches have little or no experience coaching.

If you are one of those coaches, this book is for you. It is intended primarily for coaches of players from 6 to 12 years old, but it is applicable to coaches of older players as well. Use it as your rudder to guide you through your season. Use this book to

  • Understand your role, and know what to expect, as a coach.

  • Know the keys to being a good coach.

  • Realize why kids play sports and consider how this should affect your approach to coaching.

  • Bone up on the basic rules of basketball and learn how to impart those rules to your players.

  • Provide for kids' safety and respond to emergency situations.

  • Learn the general principles of teaching skills and tactics.

  • Teach individual skills and team tactics.

  • Coach effectively during games.

  • Make the sport experience a meaningful and enjoyable one for the kids.

  • Communicate effectively with parents, league administrators, referees, and players.

  • Form positive alliances with parents, involving them in various ways.

  • Plan for your season and your practices.

  • Discover the keys to conducting productive practices.

  • Celebrate victories and learn from defeats.

  • Keep it all in perspective.

This guide presents the foundational concepts that effective coaches follow, and it shows you, step-by-step, how to incorporate those concepts, plan your season, and conduct your practices. It provides many forms you will need, including sample and blank season and practice plans, a sample letter to parents, an injury report and emergency information card, and a season evaluation form. It has games and drills you can use to teach your players the skills and tactics they need to know. It details how to execute the fundamental skills and tactics, so you will know what to teach—and it lays out how to teach. It is also replete with practical tips that will help your season be a success.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized in two parts. Part I covers coaching basics, and provides guidance in a number of areas, include your basic approach to coaching, communication keys, safety principles, and practice planning. Part II delves into the specifics of the skills and tactics your players will need to learn, ending with an entire chapter devoted to games and drills you can use to teach those skills and tactics.

Following Part II are six appendixes that you should find useful. This material includes a sample letter to parents, a medical emergency form, an injury report, blank season and practice plans you can use for your own planning, and a season evaluation form you can use at the end of your season.

Special Elements

Throughout the book you will find the following special elements:

Caution - Cautions give you a loud "Heads up!" regarding issues or situations you want to avoid. These point out pitfalls, potential safety hazards, and any other items that could pose trouble to you or your team.

Note - This is a note element. Notes give you relevant information that doesn't necessarily fit in the text flow.

Tip - Tips are given to help you do something more efficiently or to give you the "inside" view on how to accomplish something related to coaching basketball.

Warning - Warnings are always safety-related and are used with issues or situations of more serious consequence than those associated with cautions.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Tom Hanlon has 19 years of professional writing experience - as a journalist, an editor of two coaching magazines, a curriculum writer for a coaching division of a publishing company, and as a book writer and ghost writer for nationally-prominent authors. Tom ghostwrote Teens Can Make It Happen (Simon and Schuster) for Stedman Graham; this book made the New York Times bestseller list in 2000. He has written all or major portions of 39 other books, including seven sport officiating guides, numerous coaches' guides (including baseball; softball; soccer; basketball; and volleyball, among others), and a wide assortment of related sports titles.

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