Coaches: Show your young athletes that you believe in them
By Greg Bach
As a youth basketball coach you know that your players’ shots aren’t always going to find the bottom of the net.
Tough defenders, poor shooting technique, or simply an unlucky bounce are just some of the factors that can lead to misses.
It’s just the nature of the game.
And that can put the squeeze on a player’s confidence in a hurry.
How you respond to players fighting through those difficult stretches where nothing goes their way will have a defining impact on whether they’re able to bust out of that slump, or stay mired in it.
“It is important for youth coaches to not be hard on a player that is struggling to make shots,” Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told SportingKid Live.
Hoiberg knows all about shooting, and making, shots. He was a lethal – and confident – shooter during his collegiate playing days at Iowa State. He ranks as the school’s third all-time leading scorer, and he later carved out a 10-year career in the NBA thanks in large part to his shooting prowess.
“I believe you breed confidence by getting reps and I’ve never seen someone miss a lot of shots when they have confidence,” Hoiberg explains. “As a coach, you have to get your players to believe they are going to make shots.”
And that happens when you have connected with your players and they trust and embrace what they are hearing from you.
“They’ll believe in themselves if they know you believe in them,” Hoiberg says.
So build those coach-player bonds, stay positive and keep the encouraging words flowing.
And watch the shots start dropping.
Brianne McLaughlin, a two-time Olympian for Team USA, shares how to help young athletes work through disappointment, embrace change – and have some all-important fun throughout the process, too
Are the messages you’re delivering creating a team-first atmosphere or destroying it? Use these tips from Raegan Pebley, Texas Christian University’s women’s basketball coach, to cultivate a true team environment
Samantha Peszek faced – and conquered – incredible pressure on her way to becoming an NCAA champion and Olympic medalist. Use the insights of this elite performer to help your young athletes excel when the pressure rises
Nikki McCray-Penson, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and head coach of the Old Dominion University women’s basketball team, on speaking with passion and enthusiasm to young athletes