7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations
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Author:  rwsimmons [ 20 Dec 2009, 12:02 ]
Post subject:  7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

Our travel association has:

- a preference for parent coaches in grades 5 - 7
- a policy of equal playing time
- a preference for 10 girl rosters with 5-in 5-out rotations

I'm ok with not winning - so long as the girls are learning fundamentals and having fun.

My daughter is on the 7A team. The coach we have doesn't seem to know what she's doing (and her daughter plays on the team) - and honestly - she has short term memory problems that prevent her from discussing a game after it's over (her comment - not mine)

The girls play only a simple man-to-man defense - and do so poorly. No traps - no press. Because of the substitution policies - girls are left in games when they are being scored on at will. When they get really behind - they switch to a 2-3 zone and stay there.

On offense - they get flustered by trapping and pressing defenses (they haven't been coached on how to break them). They are trying to play a motion offense - but there are screens - there are no picks - and there isn't any cutting. I don't think I've seen a pick-and-roll all season. The forwards aren't involved in the offense (they're maybe playing a 3-2 motion - just without the "2").

Other teams are getting better and learning more skills. My daughter's team is stagnating.

They have meetings after games - and the coach gives platitudes about trying hard - and "if you only boxed out more".

I'm at the point of shaking my head - cheering for individual plays - and hoping for next year. This isn't about playing time - it's about fundamentally strong basketball (or the lack thereof).

Any suggestions?

Thanks for any comments...

Author:  golfman25 [ 20 Dec 2009, 16:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

Go get yourself a pair of shorts and a whistle and step up and coach. Good luck.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 20 Dec 2009, 20:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

Exactly my thoughts.... offer your help to the team... see how she takes that. From what you say she has limited knowledge and would probably be very happy to have help... just tread lightly.

Offer to take on the defense or the offense... whichever one she would be more comfortable with her area of expertise.

Good luck and hang in there.


Author:  coachmac [ 20 Dec 2009, 22:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

The advice is good, however, treading lightly is the best advice. You could be perceived as a threat to this coach who obviously has limited experience. You will have to bite your tongue while listening to the platitudes and remember, its for the kids. You may want to ask her philosophies on both offense and defense but in a non-threatening manner. Once she becomes more comfortable with you helping out you may be able to impart some of your coaching philosophies to her. Telling a kid they need to box out without ever drilling or teaching box out positioning is simply falling on deaf and inexperienced ears. Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. Coach Mac

Author:  Coach Sar [ 21 Dec 2009, 07:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

You are a wise man Coach Mac.


Author:  Coach A [ 21 Dec 2009, 08:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

I currently coach 8th grade girls in travel ball and AAU. It is such a fun and rewarding experience. Somehow you gotta try to get involved with this are a few suggestions:

Sounds like the coach does not have an assistant coach or parent helpers. If not, volunteer to help out in any way.
If she is the only coach, tell her you'd like to volunteer as bench coach mentioning she must be overwhelmed managing the game and substituting and that you can keep track of the time to sub 5 in and 5 out leaving her to focus on the game, time-outs, play calling, etc.
Youth teams definitely need 2 to 3 coaches during practices. Ask her if you can help her out at practices. Breaking the team into groups or hoop stations to focus on certain skills is essential during practice. Also if a certain girl needs extra help on her shooting form you can be there to work with her individually on a side hoop.

If the coach already has a helper(s) you can still offer to get involved. Offer to keep track of a stat sheet for her during games. I choose a parent to fill out mine during my games. This stat sheet is just a basic Excel chart with players listed vertically in a column and stats listed horizontally that gets tallied per player per game. I keep track of pretty much everything but scoring. Rebounds, assists, steals, deflections, blocks, and team turnovers. These stats are vital for the coach to review after a game to assess the team's strengths and weaknesses. Offering to keep track of this stat sheet at least gets you involved with the team and in a better position to offer advise. Ask if you can sit on the bench with the team and coaches or just behind the bench. This way the team knows you are involved and I'm sure your daughter will appreciate it too. times can offer advice or demonstrate a skill during practices and slowly get your foot in the door.

This coach's top 2 priorities should be 1) making basketball fun and 2) skill development. When it comes to skill development I like to use incremental learning process:
-Talk about the skill/drill
-Demonstrate the skill in slow motion
-Demonstrate the skill in real time
-Player walk thru skill
-Player perform skill at game speed
-Coach makes adjustments and offers feedback during skill
-Repeat and reinforce during subsequent practices

If you get you foot in the door...follow these principles and hopefully the coach will learn from you, be receptive to your advice, thus making her a better coach.

Good Luck

Coach A

Author:  coachmac [ 21 Dec 2009, 23:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

Ken: if im so wise, why do I have two ex wives and no houses. Coach Mac

Author:  Coach Sar [ 22 Dec 2009, 01:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: 7th Grade Girls Coaching - Reality and Expectations

Join the party Mac! I do own a Townhome though.... in todays day and age, we are lucky to have anything.


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