Basketball Coach  What They Do

Just the Facts


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dotBasketball coaches teach, train and direct players before, during and after games. They work with all ages and at all levels of play -- from youth leagues to the professional leagues.

dotBeing a good coach means knowing the game and how to pass on that knowledge. The most successful coaches have a strong philosophy about basketball that shapes their coaching style -- some believe in defense, outside shooting or scoring from under the basket. Coaches enjoy many rewards throughout the whole process of getting to a winning level.

Ross Tomlinson, who used to coach university men's basketball, says that the brief moment when his team wins a game does not compare to the high he gets from hours and hours of practice.

"You tend to remember things along the way and through the course of the season...and the people that you interact with more than a single event," says Tomlinson. "I find single events to be fairly non-defining."

dotCoaches spend much of their time preparing players. They run practices, invent and teach plays, scout opponents, and at some levels, even scout for future players of their own. They meet with other coaches, work with players on the courts and perform administrative tasks in an office.

dotBasketball is big business. It can bring a lot of money and attention to certain colleges and individuals. This means that coaches will often be asked to visit high schools across the continent to spot the brightest young stars and promote their schools.

At a Glance

Help players perform at their peak

  • Scouting may be part of this job
  • You need to be a student of the game
  • Sports management or exercise science degrees would help