(English) All coaches should invest in their own development, which may require some financial outlay and will certainly involve time.

Before considering specific development activities, the coach should consider what their values are as a coach as this can help to evaluate specific opportunities that may arise.

The starting point of any development plan is to assess the coach’s strengths and weaknesses.

The coach may identify areas that they wish to improve, such as a technical aspect of the game, how they teach aspects of the game or topics that are not basketball-specific (e.g. leadership, budgeting, time-management, principles of coaching etc).

In trying to identify areas for their own improvement a coach should consider:

  • Players that have left their programme – was there something specific that the player was seeking and did not get in the programme?
  • Does the coach normally get through everything that was included in their practice plan – could they plan more effectively?
  • Players with whom the coach has not had a good relationship – what was their player’s personality, did the coach try any different approach to connect with that athlete?
  • Team concepts which the team are not performing well – could they be taught another way?
  • Is the coach happy with the culture and work ethic of the team and of individual players – how could the coach improve this amongst the team?
  • Are assistant coaches actively involved in the planning and delivery of practice – could they be more involved?

From this reflection the coach may identify areas for development and could then discuss with other coaching colleagues how they might be able
to increase their knowledge and understanding in these areas.

The coach may also wish to speak with coaches that they have worked with or their former players to get their impressions on how effective or enjoyable practice sessions were and what they thought were the coach’s strengths.

In addition to personal reflection, it can be very beneficial for the coach to seek input from colleagues or mentors about areas in which they need to improve. This may reaffirm what the coach had identified or it may raise things that the coach had not identified. The coach must be open to receiving this feedback and should speak with people who will give an honest opinion, not simply repeat the coach’s own thoughts.

The range of activities that the coach can consider including in their development plan is virtually endless and once the coach has identified what they want to gain they can evaluate various activities by the ability to deliver that benefit. Some types of activities that can be considered are:

  • Formal study at a university or college;
  • Attending a coach accreditation course or a clinic;
  • Working with or observing another coach (whether or not involved in basketball);
  • Having a coach mentor observe them and provide feedback;
  • Working with or observing a respected practitioner in another area (e.g. spending time with a business leader to observe how they lead their team);
  • Reading books or articles;
  • Visiting other programs, particularly if they are likely to take a different approach (e.g. a programme in another region);
  • Participate in forums or discussion groups.

Perhaps the most important aspect of a development plan is to both write it down and also talk to people about what you are doing and why? In a busy life it is easy to put off development activities or simply not find the time to do them, and the coach should put in place strategies to help to hold themselves accountable for implementing the plan.