Basketball Coaching Journey #2 Learning how to learn from losing

Basketball Coaching Journey #2 Learning how to learn from losing
February 10, 2020 2 Comments Basketball Journey Srdjan

A difficult week, personally, but my team did have part of a lot of good decisions. Coming out from 2 lost games against two stronger teams, I saw something positive from the bombardment of points that we got.

Remember as a coach you always, ALWAYS, have to figure out a way to turn anything into a benefit for you. Learn from a loss, create an unconventional player, be patient, all those things are lessons you will need to learn throughout your career.

So let’s get to the point, the first game was lost by a huge margin 156 to 36, while the other similar 100 to 39. So you are thinking right now, damn why are you even playing the competition?

Well for one I just took over the team halfway, and honestly, they are the third tier group, which isn’t always good, but that is even better for me to learn and develop myself as a better coach. They are third tiers because the older ones were in the national league, and in another team.
But now with the age requirement changing, they still have 2 more years to play(including this half-season, that means 1.5 seasons), which means we got time to improve and rise above our limits.

From the big scoring difference there were a few things I took away as a positive:

  • Change in team chemistry
  • The attitude of the star players changing
  • Winning Defense
  • What we need to work on
  • Communication improvement
  • Fast learners

Team Chemistry

The biggest is the first one, while we were losing I didn’t hear any negative comment as in previous games, I just heard the good things, the “Don’t worry about it” /”Good Hustle!” / “Nice Shoot”. And even some loud cheers!

All players played, all 12 of them, and most of them contributed to the score, which means there is a lot of room to grow.
As a coach I am looking for this the most, I need a system of comradery where if I fall you pick me up and the other way around.
In the end, we are undersized, and we need any boost that we can get, including the moral one as well. So the cornerstones are set, the real deal-breaker will start soon when we start to prevent people from leaving for another 12 months. But if their morale is staying high through the bad games, we will be able to create some magic.


Attitude Change

What I am glad to see is the change in attitude for a kid that has great potential to be a sharpshooter. He had a bit of an “I am retiring” attitude where he would just randomly shoot 3point shoots, but that changed. And I am happy about it, as I do not want anyone who loves the game to get out before they tried everything.

Winning Defense

I love our defense, not because it’s good, but because we are willing to play it. That’s what many people don’t get, defense is mostly a mix of willpower and conditioning, there are technical things, of course, you can break it down in detail, but it’s all useless without willpower and the body to follow that willpower.

Our Shortcomings

These few games showed me a lot about our shortcomings when it comes to playing at our max. A few bad decisions here and there rushed offense, unable to pass when needed. A lot of work is ahead of those young men, but I am confident they will be able to do something.


Improved a lot, and this is good. Communication is a must for teams, you can’t just play, you need to talk!

Fast Learners

They soaked in some plays from the board right in the middle of the game, which is a good sign that they can receive commands and execute them.


All in all a great week, too bad we didn’t end it with a win, but there is still time. There is always time.

About The Author
Srdjan International Youth Basketball Coach with experience in Europe(Serbia and Romania) and Asia(China). Coaching kids and developing their skills with the end goal of creating better adults with good values, and reaching beyond their basketball potential.
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    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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