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This Might Be Causing Your Girls Basketball Program to Suffer
Lee Taft, MS, CSCS, SPC, USATF, Performance Director, Sports Speed Etc., LLC
Are you a high school coach? Are you wondering why your programs isn't where it should be? I mean, you're doing everything right at the varsity level. You are using effective systems on offense and defensive, against the press, and in final second situations, but for some reason you are not getting the talent.
It might be time to take a good look at who is coaching your junior high program. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade programs being mishandled can make or break your varsity program. If you don't have quality coaches that are not schooled in the fundamentals, your players will always be a step behind. If your junior high coaches know the fundamentals, but are not good at breaking down the skills cuing properly the message may not be understood.
I believe every head coach needs to make sure the junior high coaches go through a simple coach's clinic run by you. You should make sure they understand what is important to be taught at the foundational level.
The other aspect that can be a little tougher, but must be dealt with is how verbally tough the coaches are on the players. Often times coaches think young kids can handle yelling and harsh discipline. The bottom line is the game becomes less fun when young girls are afraid to make mistakes, because they will get yelled at. The result is they either play less than their potential or they simply quit.
I often think coaches who are verbally tough on young players think it is the right thing to do, and they don't know any better. They were probably coached that way. Because it didn't break them, they feel it is ok to do to their players.
The best situation for the head coach is to educate the junior high coaches on why it is wrong and how other strategies can be more positive and effective. But at the end of the day, the head coach must demand what he or she wants the program to look like. If you are losing talented young players at the youth levels, you have to find out why and establish a new system to stop losing players. The key is building a strong program from the youth program up.
Coaching is so much more than Xs and Os. To build a strong program all the details must be dealt with at each level. If the coaches have a plan from day one, it is much easier to implement it and bring players along through the program.
Most importantly, stay with it and keep in mind it is more about the players than the coaches.
Yours in Speed,
P.S. I can't emphasis enough the importance of having a system in place. It is easier to change what you have than to figure out what you don't have.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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