(English) A coach must take a positive and constructive attitude when coaching young players. To do this a coach should:

  • create a pleasant environment in which attractive and achievable challenges and positive comments predominate;
  • accept the fact that the players’ mistakes are a part of their training and that, there will always be mistakes;
  • understand that each young player learns at their own pace, and the coach must help each one, respecting that pace, without underestimating those who learn more slowly or with greater difficulty. It is also important to recognize the various methods of learning and to present information in different ways to cater for different learning styles;
  • always have a realistic perspective concerning what they can and should require of the players;
  • appreciate and emphasize the efforts made by the players more than the results obtained. If the players try, and the coach controls the training process, sooner or later they will see an improvement;
  • focus on what the players are doing right and what you want them to do, not on what they may be doing wrong;
  • be patient when things do not turn out as expected and encourage the players to try again.

A key factor in developing a positive environment is not to dwell or focus on what the players cannot do and instead to focus on what they can do.

This includes acknowledging improvement when it occurs, even if an ultimate goal has still not been achieved.

An example of this is a coach working with players to get them to “look up” when dribbling in order to see team mates so that they can pass the ball. Anyone who has observed young basketballers will know their tendency to dribble, dribble, and dribble!

Where a player does look up and attempt a pass, it should be acknowledged by the coach – even if the pass was unsuccessful.

Parents can also play a key role in the development of a positive environment. Parents will not necessarily have played basketball and indeed may know very little about basketball.

For these parents it is natural to evaluate “success” as whether or not the team won, or the basket was scored.

Coaches should keep parents informed about the skills that the team is practicing, so that the parents can share the enjoyment when there is improvement in a particular skill.