Coaching Tip of the Month - October/November 2003

Become your own best guide”   
Jerry Krause

In the media/information age of toda, there are literally hundreds of choices for basketball materials – books, pamphlets, videos, CDs, DVDs and software.  It is important for each coach to select materials that are right for them.  Some important criteria for this process are:

  1. Quality – to identify top quality educational material it is necessary to evaluate the coach(es) producing them.  What is the track record of teaching for that coach (not just their win/loss record)?  Have these materials lasted over time (more than one edition)?  Are coaches satisfied who have used these materials?  Another tip for determining quality is to consult professional reviews of the materials. 
  2. Substance – Is there breadth and depth for the materials?  For example, do the materials fully cover the subject; descriptions, demonstrations, explanations, teaching/coaching cues and drills?  Are the materials easily understood and implemented (user friendly)? 
  3. Reasonable – in cost and use.  Are the materials guaranteed?  Is replacement possible for faulty products or materials?  Is the cost within the accepted range of price for similar materials?  Can you convince your school to purchase these products for professional advancement?  In other words, do they pass the professional growth test?

Be cautious of getting materials from “name” coaches.  The best products are the best regardless of who produced them.  Find materials that fit you and your program.  Apply the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple / Simple)  It is more important to focus on what your players know, understand and appreciate.  Remember, it isn’t what you know but what your players know that is critical.  Find ideas that you can adapt to your philosophy and system – not adopt total packages (unless you are a beginning coach with limited knowledge).

A final reminder: become your own best guide related to other peoples opinion of your program and coaching.  The only test you need to pass is the mirror test – be able to look yourself in the mirror each day.  Remember to not take criticism personally – it is only someone else’s perception of what is going on.  You have to listen to others with an open mind but need to become strong enough and confident enough to do what is truly right (in your heart and mind). 

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