Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks to the players after a scrimmage during USA Senior Mens National Team


know that you will not tolerate disobedience. If you don't take control, your players are not going to take your discipline seriously. ! don't mean that you have to be a tyrant. Just let them know what you expect of them, namely their attention and effort, and stay consistent.

Treat everyone on your team equally. Team rules are meant for everyone, not just some players. The quickest way to cause dissention is to let one player get away with something, and then punish another who has done the same thing. Even if the player is your child, he or she must follow the same rules as everyone else: We have no stars on the team. Everyonereceivesthe same treatment. Treat them all the same, whether complimenting them or correcting them, and you will earn the respect of all of them.

Ten Qualities of a Successful Coach
By Steve Pavlovic, Basketball Coaches Coordinator St. Cyril and Methodius Catholic School, Lemon, IL

When you decide to become a coach, you are making a commitment to a team. A team that is depending on you and looking at you as its leader and resident "expert" on the sport. Don't let them down! Show that you are committed to them by always being at practice, being enthusiastic, and showing concern for their development. Always follow your own rules. When you tell the players to be at a practice or game at a certain time, make sure you are also there on time. 1 always try to show up at least 20 minutes early. Being on time is a practice that will be useful to everyone throughout his or her lives. Show them that it is important to you, too. If you are consistently late, your players will begin thinking, "If coach isn't on time, why should I be?" Show that you are committed to the entire team by doing as you say.


hether coaching a child's youth team, a junior high school team, a high school team, or a college team, coaches require the same kind of qualities to be successful. In my 22 years of coaching youth sports, I believe I can list the 10 qualities that will assure success on both the coaching and playing levels.

pay attention to you and follow your instructions. For those who don't, you must leave a reminder of the reason they are there.

In addition to patience, you must also maintain control of the team. You don't want anyone goofing around and distracting the rest of the team. Sure, everyone wants to have fun. But the main objective is to leam how to play the sport. For those who are misbehaving, you can add extra drills or talk with their parents about their behavior. You must take control of the situation immediately—letting the players

The younger the players, the more patience you must have. You cannot expect everyone to latch on to the skill being taught at the same time. Your challenge will be to get them to

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Being on time is an excellent way to lead by example. But thea* are many others ways. You must realize that your kids art* watching your every move. If they see you perform a questionable act, they may also think it is OK for them to do it. You must be mindful of this at all times, whether it's during a game or at a practice. You want your players to follow your attitude and demeanor. If you are going to constantly yell at an official or referee during a game, your players will pick up on that. If you do it, it must be alright for them. We as adults know that this isn't the case, yet we continually see coaches do it and then be followed by the players doing the same thing and complaining to the officials. That is not what you want your team to be doing. Remember to handle yourstif in an adult manner. You must always ask yourself, "Are my actions going to benefit my players?" This includes the language that you use, how much yelling you do at practice and games, and how well you maintain your composure. # 6 BE WILLING TO LEARN Never think that you know all there is to know about a sport. Even after all the years I have coached, I am still learning different techniques, always trying to improve myself as a coach. Many coaches assume that they know all there is to know, either because they played the game in high school or have seen it on TV. Don't get caught in this trap. Check out sports shows on TV, read books at the library, or go to a bookstore to increase your knowledge. If clinics are available, try to participate in them. Take advantage of the knowledge of veteran coaches. I help supervise basketball coaches in our sports program, and I try to pass along tips to our newer coaches. This

in tum helps them with their players. Don't let your ego get in the way. If you don't understand a skill, ask a veteran coach or refer to some other source for the answer. Always remember, you are there to help your players leam. # 7 KEEP EVERYONE INVOLVED Whether it's a practice or a game, don't have anyone sitting on the sidelines for an extended period of time. Obviously, there will be times when you're working on things like an offense, with just a set number of players. That's fine. But you have to get everyone involved at some point. When you fail to involve a person, you may not only hurt that individual, but also the team. How does it hurt the team? Well, if that player doesn't know the offense you are rurming because he hasn't been involved in a practice, how will he know it when he plays in the game? Keeping everyone involved in drills and games will help everyone develop a sense of accomplishment no matter what their skill level. # 8 BE THICK-SKINNEO One of the downsides of coaching is being criticized. For a new coach, this can be devastating. 1 can remember the first time I heard about a few parents questioning my strategy during a game. I can tell you, it hurt my feelings. Then it made me angry. But I sat down with a few veteran coaches, and they set me straight. All they did was ask one simple question: "Are you doing what is in the best interest of your players, helping them develop?" If you are, then don't worry about it when anyone else disagrees! That simple piece of advice has stayed with me all these years. So do

your best as a coach, and ignore any misinformed comments from parents or fans.

Since you will be called upon to demonstrate drills to your players, you must be able to do them. This only makes sense. Take the time to work on it, whether it is in the gym, on the field, or wherever. I've seen a team lose confidence in their coach because of this. Why would you listen to a coach tell you about shooting, when he can't demonstrate it the right way? Show your players the way you want something done, and earn their respect in the process.

Practice time is very important, and there never seems to be enough of it. So make sure you don't waste any of it. Take the time to write up a plan before practice. Consult your assistants, too, so that they have input and know what will be going on during practice. It will make for a much smoother practice, with much more being accomplished. Coaching is a big responsibility, but a very rewarding one. Take the time to follow this list and you'll do just fine. The best part of coaching is watching a player and team develop over the course of a season. Make it interesting for the players; yet make sure they leam a lot too. Sports should be enjoyable for everyone! •

Steve Pavlovic is a youth basketball coach at SL Cyril and Methodius Catholic School in Lemont, IL. He has coached for the past 22 years at all levels from 4th grade through 8th grade, and over the past six years he has also served as the basketball coaches coordinator. He is also author of several self-published e-book series on basketball skills. You can visit his site at www.scoremorehoops.com



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