Finding Basketball Coaching Opportunities

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How To Find Basketball Coaching Opportunities


Written By: Lamar Hull @ Google+

coach mckillop

Have you ever thought about becoming a basketball coach?

Former high school and college basketball players often dream of pursuing basketball coaching jobs as a professional career. Other men and women are simply content to coach basketball at a local, non-professional level. If you are a former basketball player or a parent interested in helping out with your child’s team their are a lot of opportunities. Basketball is one of the most popular sports around the globe, and there is always a need for coaches. Church groups, intramural teams, kid’s teams, local youth basketball programs and so forth are always looking for coaches to help their teams sharpen their skills. Here are a few tips for the aspiring basketball coach.


Learning And Dedication

Coaching is fun if you are good at what you do and you have a passion for it. If you don’t know the basketball basics, rules and fundamentals, and you don’t really know the game well, coaching a basketball team isn’t probably the best idea. Unless you are a passionate teacher and you are willing to put the time in to learn the game. If you are a parent, you can always be your child’s biggest supporter. On the other hand, keep in mind that coaches are not born with an intrinsic gift for coaching. Great coaches learn and develop their skills through hard work, dedication, and experience.

The first prerequisite is to understand the game of basketball at least at an intermediate level. This also depends on what level you decide to coach at. You also need to know and understand basic basketball rules. Learning how to run an offensive or defensive play is easy! Great coaches don’t only have a passion for the game but are students of the game. They are constantly learning. Watch as much basketball as you can. Don’t get bogged down in current basketball teams and games. Research the history of basketball. You can learn a lot about coaching by reading and studying great coaches and players from the past.

Getting Started

The bottom line is that you need to take every opportunity you can to coach a team. It is like anything in life, the more you do it and the more challenges that you face, you will become better for it. Even if your ultimate goal is to land a position with a college or a high school team, you need to acquire coaching experience. In other words, do not be afraid to start on a smaller scale. Make yourself available. Let local recreation centers know that you are interested in coaching a basketball team. Offer to volunteer for any age group. You will be in a better position to move up the ladder once you have coaching experience. High schools are usually wary of hiring a basketball coach with little or no experience. In order to land a coaching position, you need to have a track record. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Volunteer and coach as much as you can. I wouldn’t suggest coaching an AAU basketball team unless you can make the commitment. AAU can be fun but can be very time consuming as kids travel all over the county, state, and country to play other teams. However, AAU basketball could offer you an opportunity to get a lot of coaching experience. Again, jumping in to coaching and actually doing it, is the only way to develop your craft and sharpen your coaching skills.

Job Search Tips

There is not a golden path that leads to a basketball coaching position. You will not earn a basketball coaching degree in college, and then go in to the job market. There are a number of smart steps that you can take to help you achieve your goal of coaching high school or college players. Here are 5 coaching opportunities that you should consider when pursuing coaching jobs.

1. Apply for every coaching job that you can. Keep a keen eye on coaching opportunities for middle schools and high schools. If you have gotten tons of coaching experience already and you are ready to move up the ladder, take advantage of online sites such as to broaden your job search. I typed in the keyword “basketball coach” in and the first result is a coaching job for private lessons. You will have to really know the game and have some experience with coaching for this type of coaching opportunity, but if you look at the subsequent results you will see that there are other coaching opportunities on a low and higher level.

basketball coaching opportunities
Other job portals like, and list coaching opportunities as well. You may also want to submit your resume to these job portals tailored to coaching. For youth coaching jobs, go to Google and search the following:

  • Search terms: City basketball coaching “resource” – put your city name where it says city. You can also change .gov to .com, .org and etc.

google search query for basketball coaching

  • Click on websites that specifically mention coaching opportunities

google basketball coaching result

  • Click on the application and apply

basketball coaching application
2. Put together a list of coaching contacts. Get to know as many basketball coaches as you can. Let them know that you are interested in pursuing a coaching career. You may have an opportunity to work as an assistant for a head coach at a major school or college. If you have to start at the junior varsity level, don’t hesitate to gain more experience and exposure. In my opinion, if you are winning, the right people will notice. Here is a useful basketball coaching forum that discusses basic rules, offenses and defenses. The forum also has a board for job and career advice. The great thing about the coaching forum is that it allows you to engage with all types of basketball experts.

3. Develop your own coaching style. This is done by acquiring experience through coaching, and by thinking about your coaching philosophy. You have to understand your talent level, your team’s make-up, what they are good at and what they are weak at. Use your understanding of your team to drive the best collective performance. Break through basketball provides a good example of a basketball coaching philosophy. When applying for a coaching job, you want to be able to effectively communicate your coaching philosophy in a job interview.

4. Attend basketball coaching clinics. High schools and colleges offer coaching clinics during the off-season. This provides an excellent opportunity to sharpen your skills, meet and learn from successful coaches.

5. Watch film. Watch as much film as you can, whether it is film of teams that you coached or DVDs on how to coach effectively. Again, be a student of the game!

This coaching basketball book by Jerry Krause provides coaching tips, strategies, philosophies and everything you need to know about coaching. This is a very good book to read if you are serious about becoming a great coach. You will receive advice from former and current high school and college coaches such as Rick Pitino and John Wooden.

In conclusion, I have been playing basketball for a long time, played at the collegiate and professional level. I was coached by a coach Mckillop who will go down in history as one of the top Division 1 college coaches of all time. I learned so much from him! It didn’t matter if you were the bench player or the starter, he knew how to get the best out of all his players. I’m starting to become real passionate about coaching youth basketball. I have never coached a basketball team before this year. I’m currently coaching a team of 11 and 12 year old kids. This coaching task has been a journey and I have learned a lot, but coaching is HARD! There is so much real-time game analysis that you must engage in, putting the right subs in, calling the right plays in a timeout, knowing when to call a timeout, motivating your team with a speech and more. There are so many things you have to be able to do not only during the game but in practice as well. I would encourage new coaches, to jump in and start coaching your child’s youth team. If you are an experienced coach, be consistent with your message and make your players better by pushing them in practice. Break down your practices with the basic fundamentals. Without the right fundamentals, your team will fold against real opposition.

There are so many coaching opportunities for people who are passionate about the game, understand the gaem and can develop players on and off the court. For more insight on coaching, my good friend Dino Guadio, former head coach of Wake Forest allowed me to interview him about what it takes to be a successful coach, check out Dino Guadio’s coaching interview and let me know what you think.

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