Basketball Coaching Journey #4: Beyond Basketball

Another two weeks passed, we had a week off, at least game-wise, but that didn’t mean we slept on our goals. Working hard is as good as much as you use your brain into it, and slowly I think most of the players are starting to understand the bigger picture or at least we are starting to look and act more like a team rather than a bunch of individuals.

Another loss, but many positives going on, we were starting to support each other, and I didn’t hear more than two negative comments which were all about the refs. You gotta teach the players not to talk to the refs, even if the refs are wrong, we win with skill not with crying about some contact. If you got fouled but didn’t score, and it wasn’t called that means the contact was too soft. Soft enough for you to score it, so if you didn’t score what’s the point of your complains? Score first and then we will see. Besides coaches are there to talk to the refs, let them do their job.

I saw some movement out of one of our physically more gifted players that gives me hope that sooner or later he will come out of his shell and actually crush people in the way he is capable of. Mental barriers are some of the toughest things to break, but there is no challenge hard enough that I won’t take on, and besides, I have 2 more coaches doing their best to bring those kids to another level.

Anyway, the game was fun as we played against our own, or at least my own. As we are a big club, this was bound to happen, and out it all hopefully we managed to create some bond between the players and we will see, maybe by next year some of them will play together, or at least support each other.

As always I come back to the principals of my system, creating players, but in the first place human beings who can function in a team, under pressure, and most importantly who are kind to others. This is the goal and should be the goal of any respectable coach, to bring the full potential out of a kid not just as a player but a human.

When it comes to the game, we, as stated in previous journeys, are vastly undersized, and the other team had a center with a great feel for the game, athletic ability beyond any of our players, and players that would give him the ball and get out of the way. Something like the Heat did in the NBA, just give the ball to Wade and get the hell out the way.

Best thing, and the thing I am most happy about is that I saw some of my team box out. A thing that is somehow left out of the Romanian Basketball youth for absolutely wrong reasons. It is hard to make them understand that boxing out is the key to rebounding. No matter how big a guy is if you get him out of the paint and box out hard, he can only catch the ball by sheer luck.

Anyway, it was a great day, even if we lost, our team morale is high, and for it, we all went to a team lunch at a fast food place (yes I know I am a bad coach, sue me).

In the end, is what mark you leave behind on those future players/grown-ups, what you can teach them about basketball and life, and not the number of victories or losses, nobody cares if you won or lost with a team in 2016, but if you have players reach out to you in 2020 that you coached in 2013, telling you how much they loved their time playing basketball, I mean that’s the best feeling ever.

Solkotovic Srdjan

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