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Coaching youth basketball can be a very rewarding experience. I recently coached my first youth basketball practice. It was a little overwhelming.
I was given one hour to:

  • Introduce the coaches
  • Handout shirts
  • Run 30 minutes of skills
  • Play a 30 minute game

To have the players get the most out of each weekly session, the coaches felt it might be a good idea to introduce a “theme of the week.” Each week we will introduce a new theme. Themes can focus on a sport-specific skill, fundamental, or other area such as developing a positive team culture.
Since most of the players are participating on a team for the first time, our first theme of the week was “being a good teammate.” Being a good teammate is something that we will discuss each week as the season progresses. Having good team chemistry is essential to having a positive experience for the players and coaches, that is why we choose to emphasize this concept as soon as we could.
What exactly does it mean to be a good teammate?
Since we were going to be working together for the next few months, the coaches felt it was important to stress that each player learn the names of all the players and coaches.
Before teaching skills, we wanted to develop a positive team culture. We placed labels with the players names on the back of each shirt to help us learn the names more quickly.
As we called the team together for the first time, each player introduced himself with the following information.
During our time together, the coaches always try to address each player using first names. Over the next few weeks we will call on different players to test their ability to name all the members of the team.
We hope to have a great season and will share other themes as the season progresses.
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