Topic 4 – Other considerations

Other Considerations

Other than player related information, there are some other considerations to factor in when planning a practice session.  Coaching style is the most influential factor, other than player considerations, when planning a practice session.   There are other factors that also influence planning a practice session such as communication and welfare.

According to FIBA, there are three main coaching styles.  An authoritarian coach, a players’ coach, and a businesslike coach.  An authoritarian coach is extremely disciplinarian and allows little to no input from players.  Players may not always like this style, but it has important benefits such as organization and clear goals.  A players coach becomes well liked by players by allowing them to have serious input on strategies and goals.  Players will often become friends with players’ coaches due to the high levels of association between the two.  A disadvantage of this style would be  difficulty to make tough decisions, such as trading, cutting, or benching a player.  Another disadvantage would be that players could take advantage of the coach’s easy going style.  Lastly, there is the businesslike coach.  This coach lies somewhere in the middle of the two styles previously listed.  Solely focused on winning, this coach will take input from players, but makes the final decision themselves.  Since businesslike coaches are so focused on the team goals, they may be viewed as distant by players.  Keeping all this in mind, often whether or not players are happy, and if a coach is viewed as successful, is largely determined by whether the team is winning or losing.

When planning a practice session communication is essential.  Time and location must be communicated, and possibly main objectives.  Players need to know the time and location so they can arrive in a timely manner.  If coaching in a youth league, parents must know this information, as well as players.  When communicating with parents and players it is also important to let them know safety and first aid information.  If on the road, let players and parents know certain facts about the area that could keep them safe.  Also when planning a session it is important to let adults, meaning both parents and assistant coaches, if it will be necessary for them to assist during practice.  Assisting could mean helping with drills to those who are first aid certified helping being available in case of an emergency.  

It is also important to keep in mind the general welfare of the team when planning a practice session.  Coaches should consider energy levels and the recent success levels of the team.  For example if the team has been having many practices and tough games recently, it could be beneficial to plan a practice session that has a light physical load, and focuses more on the mental side of the game.  Or if the team has been losing games recently, give the team a different style of practice than normal to see if they react positively.  Welfare should always be taken into account when planning a practice.

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