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How do I gain experience to become a head basketball coach?

Hello, I'm an 18 yr old college student and for future reference, I was wondering what is the best route to go in order to become a head basketball coach. I want to coach the high school, college level, and hopefully one day the pros as I love the game and love to strategize. How should I start should I try to find a high school or college coach to learn from or is there a distinct way. #coaching-basketball #coaching #sports #basketball

Thank you comment icon Hey, Deshawn. The first thing I would do is to talk to the basketball coach at your high school. Ask them what they studied, how they prepared for their career, etc. It is best to get a first hand account of how to pursue a career in coaching. In order to become a collegiate coach, it is all about networking. You have to build up respect in the basketball community as a coach. Some do it by taking their teams to state championships or being really specialized in an aspect of basketball. The way most people become a head coach is that they are assistant coaches on a team, and eventually, they are promoted to head coach. Hope this helps! Ramtin
Thank you comment icon I agree with Ramtin's advice. I would like to add on to their idea by suggesting also more education. Usually just about anyone can coach at a highschool level if they are experienced. Community college is similar, but I would suggest you try to research to get a degree in exercise science. If you see yourself working with the Pros, you would need at minimum a BA in sports psychology or exercise science to be taken seriously. I would imagine you would need a masters degree and interning with a pro team to get yourself started. Do not delay and waste years avoiding education if you see yourself there one day. Linda

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Paul’s Answer

You will have to start at the bottom levels.

As, I recall Roy Williams worked as a graduate assistant, and then a high school coach, before becoming a long time assistant at North Carolina and then head coach at Kansas.

If you cannot be a graduate assistant, you may have to start with YMCA, Boys Club and AAU teams.

You might check out local colleges for education programs in coaching, which will enable you to coach and earn credit as part of the education program.
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George’s Answer

Deshawn, I have coached Middle School and Youth Basketball and love the excitement and energy of basketball and working with a core group of boys building a team first culture. I would recommend you reach out to a youth program in your area and gain some experience there. Most High Schools and College levels expect their coaches to have degrees and a Minor in coaching so hopefully you are going to school. If you go to college reach out to someone within the schools basketball program and see if you can become a team manager. It is a lot of work and is volunteer but you will learn so much. Some High Schools coaches will also have volunteers as assistant coaches that help with their JV and Freshman teams. Best of luck!
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Idris’s Answer

The best way is to volunteer at a lower level, maybe with kids.  There are coaching clinics that you can attend where you can learn from experienced coaches around the country.  This will help broaden your understanding of what it takes to coach, not from an X's and O's perspective but from a leadership perspective.  The best coaches are not necessarily the best X and O coaches, but are the best at leading people.  Best coaches have the ability to motivate, inspire and lead a collective group of people to work together as a team and achieve goals.

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Brice’s Answer

Hi Deshawn, i believe the easy way is pratice. It is often easier to become coach when you are a good player because people believe that as you play good we must have good advice. Another way is to go a specialised school than forms in sport and difference sport activity. You can make some research on internet based on where you live.

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Craig’s Answer

He DeShawn - there are a number of ways to do this. Assuming you are going to college next year I would get in contact with someone on the basketball staff. You will most likely not be able to reach the head coach directly but instead get bounced to his assistant/secretary. This is fine, say in this email that you would like to apply to be a student manager/assistant for them. Now this will not be glamorous (think setting up practice, washing uniforms, etc.) but it will get your foot in the door there. Once you get your foot in the door bust your butt and do everything you can to be known as a valuable asset to the program. Over time your responsibilities will increase and come college graduation you will get a good recommendation or maybe even a job offer.


Now there is the chance that they will say no and they are not looking for student managers. If this is the case try again every semester. But don't just try again, you need to be building your resume to them to make you seem like the most attractive to the position. Volunteer at the local high school, middle school, boys and girls club. Anywhere that you can get hands on coaching experience among other coaches is always a good place to be.

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Parker’s Answer

For those aspiring to become a head basketball coach, here's a practical guide to help you gain the necessary experience:

1. Engage in the game: Start by honing your own basketball skills and understanding of the game. Participate in basketball at various levels, such as school teams, community leagues, or recreational groups. This hands-on experience will give you a player's perspective of the game.

2. Offer your services as a coach: Volunteer to help with coaching at local youth leagues, community centers, or school teams. Look for opportunities to learn from seasoned coaches who can mentor you, helping you refine your coaching techniques, leadership skills, and deepen your understanding of the game.

3. Obtain coaching certifications: Seek out coaching certification programs or workshops provided by sports organizations or basketball associations. These programs not only equip you with valuable knowledge but also show your dedication to professional growth. Certifications like the USA Basketball Coach License or the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) courses will boost your coaching credentials.

4. Learn from the pros: Participate in basketball camps, coaching clinics, or seminars led by experienced and successful coaches. Connect with coaches and professionals in the basketball community to gain insights, advice, and mentorship opportunities. Building these relationships can pave the way for future coaching opportunities.

5. Craft your coaching philosophy: Reflect on your values, coaching style, and beliefs about the game. Develop a coaching philosophy that will guide your decisions, player development strategies, and team management approaches. A well-articulated coaching philosophy can help you communicate your vision and attract players, parents, and potential employers.
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