Coaching confident shooters
By Greg Bach
As a youth basketball coach, picture this scenario: Your team has the ball, trailing by a point, and just seconds remain.
How will they respond? Will they embrace the chance to knock down a game-winning shot because you’ve spent lots of practice time encouraging, praising and instilling confidence in all of them?
Or will they dread having the ball in their hands because you failed to fuel their confidence and as a result they have little faith in themselves?
“I think, particularly with young players, that it is incumbent on the head coach to develop confidence in every player on the team,” Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery tells SportingKid Live. “I always tell my guys to trust their talent. I trust you, so you go trust your talent and go make plays.”
McCaffery understands the importance of putting confident players on the floor, as he’s one of only a dozen Division I coaches to take four – count ’em four – different schools to the NCAA tournament.
“I am a big proponent of developing confidence in my guys,” McCaffery says. “I think our guys play with supreme confidence, and that is my goal.”
INSTILLING CONFIDENCE IN EVERYONE
So as you’re working on plays, or going through drills, make sure that your practice sessions feature lots of confidence building.
After all, confident kids perform better; bounce back from disappointments quicker; and feel really good about themselves, which carries over to other aspects of their life, too.
“When he feels that confidence he will eventually play with more confidence himself,” McCaffery says. “If you do that you will make more good plays, you will feel better about yourself and you won’t get down on yourself.”
Traci Callahan, professional beach volleyball player and youth coach, on the value of providing honest feedback to young players to forge connections, drive development and deliver rewarding seasons
During these unprecedented times coaches still play an all-important role in their young athletes’ lives. Use these tips from well-known psychologist Dr. Peter Scales to stay connected, involved and help players be ready once seasons resume.
University of Iowa women’s volleyball coach Vicki Brown shares how she used visualization during her days as a youth coach to prepare teens for productive practicing
Volunteer youth coach of several sports on recognizing each young athlete's learning style and treating everyone with that all-important respect