Coaching Basketball Tournaments

Coaching Basketball Tournaments Is Different Than Practice

While one receives great satisfaction while coaching basketball drills, camps, skills sessions, etc., nothing is quite as fun as coaching basketball teams in a tournament.

Basketball Coaching Starts With Conditioning

Good coaches know that the best players are usually the ones in the best condition, who have taken the time and made the efforts to practice the drills, increase their strength, endurance, and skills and are mentally prepared to give their best during the game.  If players have not invested their energy in preparing themselves individually and as a team, they will have little chance of succeeding when the tournament games occur.
That’s why so much basketball coaching focuses on fundamentals and repetitive movements.  A player’s body learns from repetition and builds strengths in the areas necessary to support repetitive movements.  Take the legs for example.  Much of the basketball player’s strength in his legs is gained from running.  However, most movement in a game is actually from side-to-side faking and dodging an opponent and jumping in order to shoot, block or rebound a ball.  Jumping rope and practicing defensive slides strengthens the correct muscles in the legs and ankles to withstand these moves, support jumping, and aid in landing safely.  Most sprains and ankle injuries do not happen on the spring up, but on the landing.  Jogging on uneven surfaces can also help strengthen ankles.

Coaching Basketball for a Tournament Provides Learning Opportunities

While a good coach can control and plan a practice session, decide which drills will be used and what skills will be learned, tournament games are always full of surprises.  During the tournament, coaching focuses on offensive and defensive strategies and tactics.  Each game provides a new opportunity for the coach and the players to learn, adapt, and react.  The coach can watch how each player handles himself in the game in order to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement.  A good coach will be making notes, capturing information during the game or reviewing videos of the game to identify these improvement opportunities with the players later.   Watching a good game video can be a powerful learning technique along with the coaching provided during the game.

Basketball Coaching at Tournaments Teaches Players

Helping players see the same strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their opposition that the coach sees is a necessity.  Effective tournament coaching requires the coach to be able to make decisions on the spot and adjust his players, lineup, positions and strategies based on what he is seeing from the opposing team as well as the capabilities that day demonstrated by his own players.  Being alert to when players are having an off day, are not focused on the game or playing too aggressively or passively are skills an effective coach can only learn from experience playing, watching and coaching basketball tournaments and spending time with his players.  Likewise, a good coach knows how to communicate with his players to set expectations so they can roll with changes during the game without personalizing the decision as a positive or negative reflection on their skills or abilities.  Changes during a basketball tournament as a result of a coaching decision are always to improve the team’s chances of success.  Therefore, since every player is part of the team, everyone benefits.