Coaching Basketball: From Players to Parents

Posted by Hoopmountain Thu, 14 May 2020

Coaching basketball comes with responsibilities you never anticipate. Early on you assume coaching is just about teaching the game of basketball and mentoring youth. Later, you begin to realize you have to nurture a community and educate the sports world around you.  Having a clear understanding of everyone’s role in our sports world will only assist our young athletes in being successful.

I have always been one to believe that coaching and basketball knowledge should be shared whenever possible. Often, that knowledge falls upon deaf ears, but the hope is that if just one person values the message then you have helped someone. I watched an interview by Frank Martin, the Head Coach at the University of South Carolina Men’s Basketball team. A man that has dedicated his life to youth basketball starting from the grassroots all the way up to the highest level of college basketball. He has been a proven winner every step of the way while putting the needs of his players first.
" Players Play!
Coaches Coach!
Parents Cheer!
Referees Ref!

Coach Martin stresses the importance of parents not coaching from the stands and adding to the confusion of a young athlete trying to find their way. This topic hit home with me!! Immediately I thought back to the many times I’ve had to deal with extremely vocal parents in the crowd. Not that parents shouldn’t voice their opinion or concern, but not in a public arena and certainly not during a game.

Coach Martin went on to clarify why he and so many other coaches have an issue with these situations. First, he addressed the issue that most youth coaches and referees aren’t getting paid or making very little at all. Second, they are sacrificing their time that is usually spent with family just to make sure you can play! Third, they are dealing with young athletes, not professionals, so their understanding of how to manage between coaches’ instructions and their parents’ instructions is very difficult.

Coach Martin accepts the issues that come with such a highly regarded coaching position. Coach and his peers acknowledge the financial benefits that come with being great at what they do. In this case, he is speaking up for the lower level coaches that do not have a voice. His stance on the subject is very much appreciated by myself, and thousands of coaches around the world. We have all endured these challenges!

This message should serve as a helpful reminder to have more understanding and patience the next time a youth player, or youth coach or referee makes a mistake or does something you disagree with.

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