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Developing the right brand of leadership can be difficult for any basketball coach. Here’s a look at 50 Basketball Leadership Thoughts from legendary high school basketball coach Duane Silver.

50 Thoughts on Basketball Leadership from Coach Duane Silver

26. Dealing with mistakes on the floor. Don’t take a player out on his first turnover. Give him a chance to redeem himself.

27. If a player cusses you out he is through. No second chances!

28. Be a great Listener! People migrate toward great listeners.

29. Most coaches are not as good as they think they are at coaching. The great coaches are always learning.

30. Pray for Wisdom: James 1:5…It takes lots of wisdom to coach today’s athletes.

31. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation….Johnnie Cochran’s three rules for success in his law practice. This is true in basketball too!

32. Dealing with Narcissism is not easy. Some people do not ever see anyone’s point of view, but their own.

33. Don’t worry about players playing more than one sport. High school is NOT the time to specialize in one sport

34. You don’t need a rules sheet to give out to the parents. Here is the only rule you need. “We have only one rule here: Don’t do anything that’s detrimental to yourself, because if it’s detrimental to you, it’ll be detrimental to our program.” (Coach K)

35. Have all the players lay down on the floor on their stomach and look up at you when you make announcements about future events or what we are doing wrong as a team. They will have assigned spots to lie down at, this is a great way to take roll. By making the players look up at you while lying on the floor will make you look powerful in their eyes.

36. If you are really hard on your two best players you won’t have many problems. (Kim Mulkey…Baylor University)

37. “All men love Discipline”…They may not act like it, but they do. (Vince Lombardi…Green Bay Packers)

38. “Remember you can’t run off a good player by being too hard on him.” (Bear Bryant) The players that really love the game will not quit.

39. Question: Which motivates you more, a Positive word or a Negative word? (Example: You are over rated as a coach, or You are one great coach?) Which will make you try harder?

40. “Less is More in Coaching”…Meaning you don’t have to do a ton of things to be successful. Just play man to man defense and one zone…Don’t play six different zones.

41. “Don’t be afraid of the kids.”

42. Young people need structure and they love it. They like to see everything organized.

43. You can never let up on your discipline.

44. You get a different team every Tuesday and Friday night. If a players girl friend breaks up with him he won’t play well. Be ready for this to happen to you.

45. Always shake hands with the opposing coach after the game. (Win or Lose)

46. Set a goal of not getting a technical foul this season.

47. Make Lists of things you need to do. Great coaches make lists.

48. You must learn how to coach kids with learning disabilities. Like kids with ADHD, these players want to learn the game, but yelling at them does not work. You must coach them slowly and they need lots of walk throughs to understand the plays.

49. It is okay to get fired if you are standing up for what you really believe in. (There are lots of coaching jobs out there today if you lose this one)

50. Date your wife or husband during the season. They are more important than any of your players.


Related: 50 Thoughts on Basketball Leadership By Duane Silver (Part 1)


Basketball Leadership Resources:


5 Minute Basketball Coaching Podcast: 

Ten points of a Leaders and Leaderships


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