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Multiple Teams? Here's Your Tylenol!

by Ed Riley

Am I doing better at the length of these chapters? I had an overwhelming number of e-mails requesting shorter chapters so you could read them on your lunch break, in between helping your child with their homework and playing on the computer, etc. So this is why the chapters are so short. (That and I get typer's cramp.)

We started a basketball academy. Our goals are to teach girls 4th-11th grade girls and to improve their game. My partner started with 9 kids, 2 years a go. I joined him last September and we went to 40 girls. January we went to 80, now we have 120 that we know of. Every week new players just show up. We're like rabbits out of control, we probably have close to 30 players that we know nothing about. We ask who they are, and they say they came with that girl, as they point to someone in a drill line of 20 players.

Next, we only have 5 coaches to handle this. Only 3 coaches handle all of these player's skills Learning Session. All 5 handle their own team Learning Sessions.

We are in a 3 game minimum tourney this weekend, with 10 teams. In the beginning, I was counting on having 8 players for my 8th grade team. Yesterday I had 14 show up for the games.

Another coach had originally planned on 10 of his high school players showing up, only 7 showed. We borrowed players from other teams to fill in.

So what can you learn from this? Riley's Rules based on Riley's mistakes.

  1. Make sure you know your own priorities and goals. Is your priority to teach your players, play games, win, whatever....
  2. Make sure you surround yourself with teachers of the game with the same priorities as yours. I.E. A coach who just wants to handpick his team and win, doesn't fit the description of a basketball ACADEMY! There's nothing wrong with select coaches, but they don't fit into an Academy.
    Remember, this is for clubs with multiple teams.
  3. Figure out the number of players you can comfortably handle. Then figure out if you can say "Sorry, we're full," to that little face who really wants to learn and play. My partner and I can't say no. So have emergency gym time lined up as well as extra coaches.
  4. Make sure your wife, husband, or significant other is singing from the same song book as you are. If they don't have the patience of a saint, you're screwed if you take on too much!
  5. Make sure you don't let yourself become a baby sitter. Kids should be picked up on time. You won't have time to baby-sit players with attitudes. Cut out any cancerous attitudes, you don't have time to correct them.
  6. Make sure your players have the same goals as your program, if not, cut the tie that binds.
  7. Collect your money up front, and keep great records. When you receive $$, write it down immediately.
  8. Communicate via e-mail when possible. God, this is a must. I type one message to all 70 pre-high schoolers, click on send and I avoided 70 phone calls.
  9. Keep reminding your players and their parents of your goals and your expectations of them.
  10. Don't take your frustrations out on your players. Trust me, it is so easy to do so. Your big, they're small, just have patience!
  11. Don't let your ego or pride keep you from admitting a mistake. When you screw up, hold your hand up in the air and admit it. (It's good exercise for your arms.) Learn from your mistakes and go on with life!
  12. Don't be thin skinned, or don't start this project in the first place. You are the head of the program, so be prepared to walk around with a bullseye on your back. When anything goes wrong, you are to blame, whether it's justified or not.
  13. Last, but not least, buy stock in whatever relaxing hobbies you have. I just bought stock in Absolute, ar, ar!!!!!!

    If you have any questions, please post them on the discussion board on my website at www.coachingyouthbasketball.net Hopefully you will get prompt help from more than just me.

    Copyright 2001-2002, by Ed Riley, Steve Jordan, Darrell Garrison and Steve MacKinney. All rights reserved.

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