Coaches Corner: Good coaching is key to raising the bar in high school women’s basketball | News, Sports, Jobs

For the past three weeks, I’ve talked about raising the bar for women’s basketball. Now let’s get into a real conversation here.

What does it really take to raise the bar?

For me, it starts with the coaches.

We need more coaches who teach and develop kids with the tools to succeed on the pitch. Whether you’re a high school coach, bantam, club, or just a parent coach, we need to step up our game to help these kids really grow.

Springville players attempt to defend an inbound pass from Spanish Fork during the Region 9 game at Spanish Fork on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)

This has been a hot topic for years.

When you get into youth basketball coaching, you’re not doing it for the money. There is no money in it. You do it out of a pure love of basketball and working with kids.

So can we really ask a lot of a coach in this situation? What person is going to put in 20-25 hours a week in a high school coaching job that doesn’t pay? You have daily workouts for two hours, with match days being seven hours.

This is only a fraction of it. You also have grade checks, meetings with players, parents, admins, and the media, and putting out the fires of drama happening with the team (trust me, there will be fires you need to put out! ).

You’ll spend hours watching a movie and breaking down the game you just played or spotting the next opponent. Then you need to create a training or game plan for the next day: what do we need to work on since the last game or training? What are we insisting on today? Where are we physically and mentally? What are we doing today to prepare them for the next game?

Spanish Fork head coach Brynlie Nielsen leads his team during the Region 9 game against Springville at Spanish Fork on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)

Then, in real life, you have your job from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which you can’t have if you’re a coach. It must be something that will allow you to be in training between 1pm and 6pm, depending on the day, and between 2pm and 9pm on match days.

Oh, and let’s not forget your family.

Here’s the kicker: you’re doing all of this for just $2,200 a year. That’s the most I’ve ever been paid.

It should give you a different perspective from your high school coach.

Commitment is tough, but we still need to have high expectations for the coach and trust that the administration has hired the best candidate who will develop your child and build a successful program.

Cedar Valley head coach Tony Ingle leads his team during the Region 7 game against Payson at Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)

They decided they wanted to be coaches, so they better be competitive and prepared. They better do what they ask of their children, which is to work hard to improve their skills.

As a coach, you can improve by studying the game, strategies and patterns. You must be prepared for any scenario or situation, and make the necessary adjustments in games and practices.

This is a big flaw that I see in the game today. Not enough adjustments made during gameplay.

I sometimes fall victim to this, but I take great pride in making adjustments to plays, defenses and strategy.

I always change things and add things on the fly. If I see a way to exploit what the other team is doing, I’ll make that change.

Or if we’re exploited, then you better believe I’ll make a change.

I also think there needs to be more skill development in practices and even pre-match warm-ups.

I think kids need to shoot and handle the ball more in training. It’s where they can develop confidence in their shot or in their handling of the ball, so when it comes time for the game, they’re ready to do it.

In most gyms today there are eight baskets, so queues for exercises should be short. This way every kid gets a ton of reps because development is about getting reps.

That’s why I mentioned pre-match warm-ups. This is another opportunity to have the children rehearse.

But when I look, I see the kids maybe only getting 10 shots in 20 minutes, often waiting in Disneyland queues.

They work on 3 on 2 and 2 on 1 drills. In these drills they don’t attack the rim hard and don’t create a shot or foul.

How many times are you going to be in this situation, especially at the pace of warm-ups?

All the blame is not on the coach.

We also need to empower the players.

Did they prepare enough before the start of the season? After a bad game, did they leave early or stay late after training to work on it?

As for me, when I hear complaints, I often hear about problems and excuses.

I don’t want to hear them.

Let’s not look for excuses. Instead, let’s do something about it.

How do we do that?

The way to do that is to watch a movie and really see what happened – because the movie doesn’t lie.

I don’t let my children play this role of victim. I always say, “Well, you can cry about it or you can do something about it. I’m not about the problems, I’m about the solutions.

Most of the time when they watch a movie, they realize that’s not what they thought happened. Now you can slow things down to view, rewind or pause. During the game, you cannot do this.

After the game you watch a movie and you can show them what they can do next time to be in a better position to finish or make a game. Their recall memory is not there yet for most children , and when you can show them and they see it, they will have a better understanding of it.

The next time they are in these situations, they will be better prepared. This will help a lot more than telling them during or after the game.

I have a bigger impact on my players when I watch a movie with them. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t say much during the games I watch. Most of the time, I don’t even talk about basketball during games.

Working hard is one element, but you add working smart and now you will start to see real growth happen. Studying the game through the movie and getting the reps up when and where it works smart.

Let’s all do our part to raise the bar for women’s basketball.

This is the last week of regional games for the 5A and 6A teams before the start of their state tournament. Slices for 2A will be finalized on February 12 and their state tournament will begin on February 15.

Go out and watch these girls fight to the bitter end.

Games to watch

February 15: Skyridge at Pleasant Grove (5:15 p.m.), Jordan at Timpview (7 p.m.) and Maple Mountain at Springville (7 p.m.)

February 17: Lehi at Timpview (7 p.m.)

February 18: Westlake to Lone Peak (5:15 p.m.)

Follow me on Instagram, @coachveeks where I post updates and match clips. #girlcoach


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