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The 5 Phases of Basketball Coaching

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					        The 5 Phases of Basketball Coaching
-by Coach Dave Stricklin
 http://www.hoopskills.com




When most of us think of coaching and coaches we tend to look at the entire
scope of the profession when in reality there are actually five distinct phases.
There are no definite timelines for each of these phases and their natural
progression depends on each individual coach.


1. Beginning Phase


As with most professions, people get into coaching for several different reasons.
Some are ultra-competitive and want the adrenaline rush that comes with being
in the arena. Some are attempting to relive or regain their youth. A few "stumble"
into a coaching position when they are approached and offered a job based solely
on their previous playing experience.


Many are former players who may have dome much more analyzing on the bench
than actual playing on the floor and are convinced they can do the job. Others
saw one of their own coaches having so much fun that it looked like the perfect
way to spend their time. Of course there are those who watch famous coaches on


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TV and want the same notoriety, money, and lifestyle. (I almost hate to admit it
but I was looking for a job where I could wear shorts and t-shirts to work every
day!) This phase is fun and exciting and challenging all wrapped together!


2. Meaning Phase


It usually doesn't take long for people to realize that coaching is the greatest job
in the world! They can be around the game they love, compete, and most
importantly, can have a positive, long lasting impact on the lives of young
athletes. These new coaches come to understand just how many life lessons can
be taught and learned through the medium of basketball. The original reasons for
getting into coaching is still in the back of their minds but now these rookie
coaches attach a much greater significance to the work they are doing. In fact,
those initial reasons, whatever they may have been, now just became extra perks
as they take a back seat to influencing others.


3. Extreme Competition Phase


The third phase of coaching is one of extreme competition. In this phase coaches
want to prove to themselves and to others that they can actually coach
successfully and win some games. Coaches in this phase of their career are
unusually motivated, dedicated, and focused, and are often perceived as being
workaholics. Their win-loss record means everything to them as it becomes a
visible reminder of the success and/or failure that has taken place.


There is often a great deal of stress in this phase! At the highest levels of
competition much of the stress comes from the "win or else" stipulation that
seems to accompany most high end coaching contracts. However, even at lower
levels the natural competitive nature of most coaches is going to produce some
stress, even if most of it is self-imposed.



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4. Coasting Phase


During the next phase of a coaching career, coaches find themselves content with
"coasting." By this time they've either proved to themselves that they can coach
successfully or they've come to grips with the fact that they can't. Either way they
are content with their career and are now just happy with maintaining the status
quo. They may not really want to quit coaching but yet they may not know what
else to do with their time and energy. Depending on their individual situation
there may be some financial ramifications if they no longer coach, so many
coaches in this phase just hang on season after season.


5. Burn Out Phase


The fifth and final phase of coaching is burn out. Sometimes coaches "retire"
temporarily until they get the competitive spark back. Others can postpone this
phase by making conscious decisions near the 'end" of the extreme competition
phase. Instead of settling in to a coasting frame of mind it's possible to take on (or
even invent) new challenges to keep the job fresh and exciting.


This often involves taking over struggling programs where the challenges are high
but the external expectations are fairly low. Many times a coach will come in, take
the program from awful to respectable and then move on to the next awful
program.


Of course there are some causes of burn out that can't always be avoided or
ignored. Recruiting, travel, parents, fund raising, generation gap, etc. are all
aspects of the job that are nearly impossible to ignore depending on which level
you are coaching.


So there are the five levels of coaching. Hopefully knowing and understanding
them will help you prepare for and manage the rest of your coaching career.

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Description: When most of us think of basketball coaching and coaches we tend to look at the entire scope of the profession when in reality there are actually five distinct phases. There are no definite timelines for each of these phases and their natural progression depends on each individual coach.