Site icon Ubuntu Basketball

Coaching the Coaches: A Game of Growth


This past weekend people from all around flocked over to Treviso to take part in the upstart of the infamous EuroCamp. Clients, players, coaches, scouts tons of people were there I know and respect.

It got me to think about the following points a lot.

As a basketball coaching and player development specialist, I’ve spent countless hours on and off the court, guiding players and coaches alike toward their full potential. I constantly set a goal to learn when I watch. Each person has an insight to provide.

But what happens when the coaches themselves resist being coached?

How do we navigate this paradoxical situation?

The Coachable Coach

Being coachable isn’t just for players. Coaches, too, can and should be coachable. The funny things is coaches have more of an issue of ego than players do. I have seen it time and again if they are not approached a specific way then you lose them from the get-go. They should be open to learning, improving, and being held accountable. This is where humility comes into play. Leave your ego at the door. No matter if you hold a PhD, or have the highest coaching license FIBA or any institution has offered you. It’s hard to get better at something when you think you know it all. It’s a lot easier to get better at something when you assume you have a lot to learn – the mentality of a student plain and simple.

The Infinite Game of Basketball

The key to communicating with coaches who resist being coached is to shift the focus from winning to growth, character, and legacy. This is the essence of the infinite game of basketball, a concept that treats basketball not as a finite game with clear winners and losers, but as an infinite game focused on continuous growth and improvement.

Understanding Resistance

Resistance or lack of engagement can stem from various factors, such as fear of change, lack of trust, low self-confidence, competing priorities, or unclear expectations. As a coach, you need to empathize with your coachees and try to uncover the root causes of their resistance or lack of engagement. You can do this by asking open-ended questions, listening actively, reflecting back what you hear, and validating their feelings.

Building Trust

Establishing rapport and trust is critical for a coach because it lays the foundation for a strong coaching relationship. When coachees feel comfortable and trust their coach, they become more open, honest, and receptive to guidance. This fosters deeper insights, effective communication, and a safe space for exploration and growth.

Setting Goals

Coaches must clarify goals and expectations when working with clients to ensure alignment and maximize effectiveness. Clear goals provide direction, focus, and motivation for both coach and client. By understanding the client’s desired outcomes, coaches can tailor their approach and interventions accordingly.

Providing Feedback and Support

Providing feedback and support is a powerful intervention to combat resistance in coaching. Feedback offers insights and reflections that help individuals gain awareness and perspective. It helps them recognize and overcome resistance by offering alternative viewpoints. Support, on the other hand, creates a safe and encouraging environment. It builds trust, boosts confidence, and validates progress.

Empowering Coaches

The key to empowering coaches is to challenge them and hold them accountable for their actions and results, acknowledge their achievements and efforts, and celebrate their successes. This approach not only motivates them but also fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Adapting and Personalizing

Every coach is unique, and so is their learning style, personality type, motivational driver, and communication preference. Therefore, it’s crucial to adapt and personalize your coaching approach to suit their needs, preferences, and styles. This ensures that your coaching is relevant, meaningful, and engaging for them.

The Self-Starter Approach

One of the most effective ways to nurture a coach without losing focus is to allow them to be self-starters. This means giving them the space and freedom to take initiative, make decisions, and learn from their mistakes. It’s about striking a balance between providing guidance and allowing autonomy. This approach not only fosters independence and self-confidence but also promotes a sense of ownership and responsibility.

In essence, being coachable is not just a trait for players, but for coaches as well. It’s about embracing the truth, welcoming accountability, and continuously striving for improvement. It’s about playing the infinite game of basketball, where the focus is on growth, character, and legacy. And most importantly, it’s about understanding that who you become is far more important than the games you win.

The Power of Patience

In the world of coaching, patience is a virtue. It’s about understanding that growth takes time and that progress may not always be linear. It’s about being patient with your coachees, giving them the time and space they need to grow and improve at their own pace.

The Role of Empathy

Empathy plays a crucial role in overcoming resistance in coaching. By understanding and validating the feelings of your coachees, you can create a safe and supportive environment where they feel heard and understood. This fosters trust and openness, which are key to effective coaching.

The Art of Storytelling

Storytelling can be a powerful tool in coaching. By weaving stories into your coaching sessions, you can make the coaching process more relatable and engaging for your coachees. Stories can also provide valuable insights and lessons, making them a valuable tool for learning and growth.

The Importance of Adaptability

Adaptability is key in coaching. It’s about being flexible and open to change and being able to adjust your coaching approach to suit the needs and preferences of your coachees. This ensures that your coaching is always relevant and effective and that your coachees always get the most out of your sessions.

In conclusion, coaching the coaches is a complex but rewarding process. It’s about understanding their needs and challenges and providing them with the guidance and support they need to grow and improve. It’s about being patient, empathetic, and adaptable, and always striving for growth and improvement. And most importantly, it’s about playing the infinite game of basketball, where the focus is on growth, character, and legacy, rather than just winning games.

Exit mobile version