“Coachabilty describes someone who wants to be coached. This manifests itself as someone who likes being challenged, loves learning, strives for more and more and then works tirelessly at what they’re taught.” – Coach Geno Auriemma
Yeah, I get it. When it comes to basketball we all want our child to be the highest jumper, the quickest and best athlete on the floor. After all, if our kids are going to make their middle-school team, that AAU select team, or start on Varsity at the local high school- they gotta be the best…right?
Here’s a little secret- While all those physical attributes (quickness, agility, strength) are advantages to excelling in basketball- there’s one aspect of the game that young basketball players must embrace to become elite.
Being coachable and being teachable go hand in hand. Go ahead and let that sink in. Coaches are teachers and players are students- basketball is the subject. As a coach/teacher we want to feel that our player/students care about what we say.
Coach Jenkins Tip: Parents. Please let the coach ….’coach.’
How do You Know if Your Athlete is Coachable?
There are three main traits that a player needs to possess to be considered coachable:
- HUMILITY A player that has humility accepts and admits that there are things they do not know, and cannot do, within the sport of basketball. Further, the player is willing to concede when they cannot accomplish a certain task alone and are willing to allow the coach to help
- SENSE OF PURPOSE A player who is willing to state their goals and demonstrate their motivation will typically be easier to reach through coaching.
- FAITH Improvement or non-improvement as a player can only be determined after the player has been through the experience with you as the coach. A player that puts faith in you is forgoing the benefit of hindsight, understanding that sometimes things need to get worse before they get better. At the same time that you are seeking or imparting these characteristics to your players, you should also encourage players and their parents to seek the same in a prospective coach.
What Can You Do to Make Sure You are Coachable?
Teaching your young basketball athlete/s to be coachable is not easy- it’s not impossible either. There are many things that we can do, say and teach as parents to help in this effort. But would be shocked to know that it starts with YOU?!
Set an Example and Stop Speaking Poorly of Coaches…
Way too often I hear parents speaking poorly of coaches in front of their children. The next time your young athlete comes to you with a complaint about his or her coach, think twice before you undermine that coach. It may be hard, but trust me- it will be worth it.
How about you? What are you doing to help your athlete be more coachable? Please share in the comments below.