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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2010, 14:14 

Posts: 21
I see alot on here about the what I am assuming is the head coaching position. But I am venturing into a new role as an assistant coach. What should be my role as I fill this position? I know I must stay loyal to whatever the Head Coach decides, but is there anything deeper than doing "things" that he asks me to do?

PostPosted: 10 Nov 2010, 15:07 
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Posts: 3139
For one, be the guy that the disgruntled players can come to so they can vent..... let them have their say and then let them know what they have to do to get more playing time. ( This is what the head coach said about me in my first year as an asst. varsity coach - I did this well )

Be loyal to a fault, don't be afraid to make suggestions and don't worry if you get turned down. I take it you were a head coach at one time? So, you know all the ins and outs of what the head guy does... make his life easier... do some of those little things without him asking you.

The more he gets to trust you, the more he will listen to your suggestions etc.

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 06:36 

Posts: 15
we are going through cuts tonight...I'm the friend is the head coach. he brought me in because they were woeful last year. We ar talking HS JV team here...He wants to keep 3 kids that arte horrible, but he doesn't want to cut them. He feels bad for them. There are three other kids that are far better. however, he doesn't know them or their parents, so he has no problem keeping them.

he also has kept his nephew on the team, who cannot make it foul line to foul line with out getting winded. I told him last night there is no way he can keep those three kids just becuase he feels bad for them.

What can I do...if he cuts the three kids that can actually play, there is gonna be some heat. Not to mention the fact that is absolutely unfair to the better players.


PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 07:05 
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All you can do is to talk to him.... explain the pros and cons to his decision..... and that its his job to prepare kids to play Varsity ball..... its not fun cutting kids but sometimes we have to do just that.... for the betterment of the program.

Bottom line, HE is Head coach and he gets to make those decisions - its all on him. I would hope that he would listen to your advice........ go out and have a "pop" and discuss the team and the players. Good luck.

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 07:52 
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Posts: 1250
Learn as much as you can from the head coach (good and bad). Learn as much as you can from the players (good and bad). Ask the head coach what your role is and how you can help them most. Ask what jobs you can be responsible for to help them most. If he has no ideas, suggest some.

Learn as much as you can about basketball (specifically teaching fundamentals), working with players, and motivating. Set a good example and bring POSITIVE energy to practices and games. That goes a long way!

We have tons of stuff on this site about motivation, fundamentals, and coaching. If you're looking for some specific, just let us know.

Regarding your cutting question, that's a tough call. Depends on all the details of the situation, size of the team, dynamics of the team, etc, etc. My opinion was to always think "what is BEST for the team as a whole? how can I make a positive impact on as many players as possible?". Sometimes that means you have to cut, sometimes not.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 14:15 

Posts: 21
No, I haven't been a head coach yet (it is in the plans). I have just made the transition from teacher only (Middle School) to teacher-coach. The head coach is a great guy and very exciting. He is very open to suggestions and has already mentioned how he aniticipates my role will be more than a statistician.

Should I also be the one to shoulder the parent contact? Just a quick question.

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 14:28 
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Posts: 3139
This is his program, HE should be the one to deal with Parental problems ... not you.... they will try to split you, believe me. The ole "Divide and Conquer theory." I am speaking from a head coaches standpoint... I sure wouldn't want my assistant taking phone calls from parents.

My first 8 - 9 years at the high school level, I was the asst. varsity 1 year and head sophomore coach the other 8. I was pretty successful there... a lot of parents tried to get me to bad mouth the head coach... they could NEVER get me to do that.... those parents, along with the Middle school coach told me I was loyal to a fault..... my answer was simple, ITS HIS PROGRAM. ( I made the mistake of doing things with the middle school coach { clinics camps etc. } sometimes some of those parents were there. )

This is good, you are coming up with situations and we can answer them as we go along.

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 17:21 
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Posts: 186
Location: Miami, Fl.
I was an assistant for 13 years in my career and, as a head coach, I had 43 people as assistants. I also went from being a head coach for a significant period of time back to being an assistant. I think I have some perspective.

There is a lot of talk of loyalty and following instructions. While those are certainly very important aspects, the most important thing that you have to do as an assistant is to "Buy In." It is deeper than loyalty, it is deeper than belief. You have to buy in to the head coach and his philosophy or it will show, you will be ineffective and most importantly, miserable.

You have to remember why you are there. Assistants are not hired because of their basketball knowledge. They are not hired to install their own beliefs. Assistants are hired because the head coach believes the assistant can help him administer HIS program, not yours.

That does not mean you cannot disagree or express your opinion. Certainly your knowledge and perceptions will add a great deal with your team. But, your individual views have a time and a place to be expressed and that is to the head coach, away from the team.

To be a good assistant, you must understand that it is the head coaches program and what he decides is law. You must not only understand that, but you must embrace it. If you cannot have faith in your head coach, how can the players. Assistants cannot build trust bridges between players and head coaches but they can tear them down.

My assistants often disagreed with me (hard to believe, eh?) but I was very lucky to have people I trusted and when we had disagreements it was never personal and they ended when we walked out of the office. I was also very lucky to work for head coaches who gave me a lot of latitude in regard to my input into the program. They never feared my disagreements and rewarded me with responsibility. They knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my job was to support them, not correct or question them.

We all had some knock-down, drag-out discussions and arguments but there was never any doubt what our roles were and what was expected. It was easy to do because I believed in my head coach and I tried very hard to give my assistants something they could believe in.

I was always of the mind that when the time came that I didn't believe in the people I was working with, it was time to leave (or as a head coach, it was time for an assistant to leave).

Don Kelbick

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010, 17:33 
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Posts: 3139
YOU have an argument with the head coach?? No way! :-)

For several years there were 4 head coaches on my staff ....... do you think we had some great meetings or what? haha All for the best believe me.

One time my asst. kept bugging me about subbing for this kid and I kept telling him we coldn't do that.... finally after about the 8th time I said... OK, go pick one out..... he came back and said... WE CANT DO THAT. We all had a good laugh.

Ran into an old ref friend while putting some gas in my car... we had a lot of good laughs and discussed some memories.... isn't that what its all about?

PostPosted: 12 Nov 2010, 14:53 
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Posts: 191
Location: New Britain, CT.
In my experience at the youth level, a good assistant coach will:

-assist in drills in practice
-recommend drills
-point out team weaknesses that the team may have
-keep vital stats during games, stats that are not normally recorded in official scorebook(blocks, steals, deflections, rebounds, loose ball recoveries, etc)
- remind head coach of how many time-outs available
- remind head coach which player is in foul trouble
- take care of player injuries during game
- assess player fatigue and inform head coach
- encourage, motivate, cheer up kids that are on bench
- use game situations and strategies as a learning lesson for the kids on the bench. While the head coach is managing the game, use this time to squat down, look at players eye to eye and explain what just happened, what went right, what went wrong and why.

Enjoy it!! You are a big part of the team!!

Coach A

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