A Varsity Basketball Coach’s Expectations of Middle School, Frosh and JV Coaches|
This weeks article is in response to a coaches request to talk about my philosophy of coaching at the non varsity level..
Having coached at the varsity level for 29 years, at the freshmen level for 2 years, and at the middle school level for 4 years, I was fortunate to understand what coaches at these lower levels had to do.
As a varsity coach I never took a varsity job unless I could hire the coaches at the middle school (if they were in the schools system or school district), freshmen and JV coaches.
When interviewing candidates for these positions I told the candidates of my basketball coaching philosophy and my expectations for them at each of the different levels.
I tried to hire coaches that had played for me as that was an easy adjustment for them as they knew what they were getting in for and they knew the system from top to bottom..
First, and the most important at all levels I wanted them to teach the life lessons and life skills that cannot be learned or taught in the academic classrooms of their schools.
I wanted them to enforce the parent, player, coach and school contract when they were in effect. I expected excellent discipline and to treat all the players the same…FAIRLY.
At the middle school level the only thing wanted them to do defensively was to play STRAIGHT MAN TO MAN DEFENSE.
WE DID NOT ALLOW THEM TO PLAY ANY ZONE DEFENSE. OUR MAJOR OBJECTIVES WAS NOT TO WIN GAMES, BUT TO DEVELOP PLAYERS THAT COULD CONTRIBUTE AT THE VARSITY LEVEL IN HIGH SCHOOL. ZONE DEFENSES ARE EASILY TAUGHT IF YOU ARE A GOOD MAN TO MAN TEAM and that can be done when they reach the varsity level.
Man to man defense teaches individual and team responsibilities. Zone defenses do not offer a great deal of accountability as defenders are responsible for areas only not individual opponents. Man to man defense is nothing more than “The Desire to Perspire”, which means it is hard work and takes discipline.The younger players learn to play man to man the better defensive players they will become.
I wanted them to concentrate on the 8 rules I listed in last week’s column in order to teach good basketball making skills. I expected them to work on basic fundamental skills of passing, dribbling. shootinhg and team play. Winning was to be secondary to doing the above things I not care what they did offensively, except follow the 4 offensive rules I listed last week.
At the freshmen and JV level I expected the same things that I expected for the middle school coaches and also that Winning was secondary to their job. The most important thing I wanted from Frosh and JV Coaches was that between them they would develop 2 or 3 players that could make major contributions to our varsity program as juniors. This gave them 2 years between them to meet this objective. They ran the same offensive and defensive sets as we did on the varsity.
I supported and backed these coaches so long as they met my expectations I approved all squad selections at the frosh and JV levels.
We had pre-season meetings for all the coaches at all the levels and also several during the regular season.
I tried to attend as many of the middle school and freshmen games as possible and I watched at least a half of all the JV games when they played the prelim to the varsity games. This was very important because it showed the coaches and the players that I was interested in them which showed how important their work and play was to the varsity program.
I was fortunate over the years at the 4 high schools I coached at to have had excellent middle school, Frosh and JV Coaches.
They were willing to do what was asked of them and without their co-operation, hard work and loyalty to the varsity program, we would not have achieved the sucess that we had at the varsity level. They sacrificed the wins for the good of the varsity program.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of them that worked for me in my 29 years of varsity coaching.
If you would like to request or suggest a topic for the colum, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, for more basketball information please go to my new Blog at bangordailynews.com. There are Player and Coaches Tips of the Week, Rule of the week, Trivia question of the week and other basketball related articles.