As coaches we are always looking for ways to improve our craft. We continue to search for insight on several basketball topics. We may be experts in X’s and O’s, but struggle with skill development. We may know all the in and outs of the Flex Offense, but may not be as strong in coming up with defensive schemes.
In this article I am going to discuss two mentors every coach should have. I truly believe having a mentor can hold you accountable, challenge you, and most importantly make you a better coach.
Face to Face – A face to face mentor is someone you can actually meet with. This is a mentor that you can physically touch. With this mentor you may have informal meeting or casual phone conversations. A face to face mentor has to be someone you trust and that is open and honest. A face to face mentor may attend practices, help you devise game plans, give advice and be a resource on several basketball topics. They make you aware of your mistakes and give you advice on how to correct those mistakes. This mentor challenges you to improve your craft, demand more of yourself, and inspires you to reach your goals.
Indirect – An indirect mentor is a mentor you admire, but you may not know them personally. As a coach you may have several indirect mentors. An indirect mentor can be a coach across town or on the other side of the world. You may have their email address and ask them questions from time to time on how to handle certain situations. You may visit an indirect mentor’s website, read a book they have written or article they had published, follow them on twitter, connect with them through LinkedIn or other social media outlets. You use their social media post, blogs, or videos as a resource to become a better coach. An indirect mentor may be on a level you dream of reaching. For a high school coach it may be a division I coach. For the college coach it may be the NBA coach. This mentor gives you insight and shares information that challenges you to become a better coach.
Every coach knows there is more to coaching than game plans, X’s and O’s, and skill development. You have to manage several different personalities, oversee a staff, deal with parents, booster clubs, sponsors, etc. Even though the 2 types of mentors I mentioned dealt more with game management, you still may need a mentor to deal with those topics I just mentioned. Best advice I can give you is don’t go at this alone. Have a mentor to give you guidance and input on how to become a better and well rounded coach.
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