I’ve been working for over a year now in China, and in my time here I learned a lot of things, including that basketball has many ways to be thought, and many of them are the right way. Now as a fellow coach you might have a similar mindset of “My way or No Way”, but I will tell you right now you should throw that out of the window. I will describe why in another blog post.
This is like an introduction post more than anything else, a share of my experience and knowledge that I gained for my first year in China as a Basketball Coach.
First let me start off by saying that China and the whole continent of Asia is different from everything you probably experienced. It is an interesting world, different from the Europe I was used to. From food to basketball things are different, sometimes to the extreme.
So far my journey was filled with pleasant experiences and a few bad ones, but not anything too damaging.
Starting in Jingzhou, I was working for the first time with kids from the age of 3 up to the age of 18. I have never before heard of the possibility for kids to practice basketball at the age of 3 but here we are, a year in and I still think it is unbelievable, but it is the way Chinese kids work. Bombarded from a young age with everything, from piano to basketball, everything goes for the little ones to ensure a better future for them. Hence we had basketball practices where kids would be too tiered to be able to move too much. A difficult thing to adjust to, especially since in China kids are everything! And I mean everything, like you are not supposed to kick them out of practice, not that I would, but some kids just sprint over the limits of normal acting kids.
A difficult adjustment had to be made, so that I am able to complete a practice with all the kids doing their part. It is the Coaches responsibility to find a way to teach the kids more effectively and make them enjoy the practice, hence one must adapt yet not lose oneself in the new environment.
As I am sure you know, to be a good coach one must see how kids learn and know how to use that to your advantage. Chinese kids are used to more motivating technique, as they are used for a young age to have a lot of toys and a lot of things given to them. Unlike Europe, here kids are showered with everything they want to have and in the end become a lot more spoiled than their European counterparts. That doesn’t mean they are not willing to learn but you have to adapt a more show like practice, a way of creating a strong atmosphere where kids are fired up. Yes, I am aware that many of the newer coaches prefer this style as well and I am aware that some of you don’t have that style of coaching where you get overly energetic, but in China it is a must if you want to teach them basketball.
The journey in China thought me a lot and I am still learning about how to be a better coach and better person. I am happy with the work here, and I hope I will be able to get deeper into researching the way of coaching the kids here, and keep all the readers of the blog updated with interesting drills, news and ways of coaching.