Arthur Deigh
Years ago

Which age group to coach?

If you had a choice and no vested interest (ie, not coaching your kids' team, what age group (and gender) would you choose to coach.

My youngest child 'graduates' from juniors this year and I am toying with the idea of continuing to coach, so, depending on my association, I have open slather.

While I have been involved with my own kids' teams since U12s as either manager, assistant coach or coach, this will be new ground for me. Most coaches I see have a kid in the team but there are some exceptions even at my association.

So, pros and cons of different age groups?

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good D  
Years ago

U12's is very demanding as it is the 1st time most of the players have been coached and have to play in a team structure, not "street ball." But at the same time it is very rewarding as the improvement in individual skills and team skills is huge over the season. If you are good at teaching the basics, a very rewarding age group.

You also get to watch the players progress thru the age groups, and get a "lift' as you see how good they are becoming and that you played a huge part in developing their skills.

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True!!!! U12s is the future of your program. If you develop competitive teams, develop the right culture in your 12s, a good social environment then have good teaching continuity between 12s and 14s you will develop talent and success in future years.

It's not rocket science, yet some lazy coaching directors and self serving committee members fail to do this and they do their program a dis service. Then they wonder why over the space of a couple yrs their club goes from strength to laughing stock.

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Years ago

Under 16s

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Years ago

fromlittlethingsbigthings, you may as well have just put your own name to your post. It is pretty obvious who you are!

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Jack Toft  
Years ago

It very much depends on your personality. Bit like saying "should I be a kindy, primary, high school, or uni teacher?"

If you have patience, like forming strong relationships, and like developing others skills, a younger group may be better. In a younger group you are "telling" them what to do, developing raw skills, instilling behaviours and transferring knowledge.

If you are more of a "seller", refining skills, engaging the group to let them make the decision, building their knowledge base and guiding them, then mid-age groups for you.

If your expectations are high and expect your players to have all the skills and you are just there to manage them, relationships are not critical, and you don't think you need to teach them raw skills, or encourage them to stay in the sport, then an older, more mature group for you.

Check out Hersey and Blanchard "Situational Leadership" or other leadership styles. Match your leadership style/personality with your group and you will be fine.

Then of course, you haven't asked whether it's boys, or girls!

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Jack Toft  
Years ago

sorry, should have read:

Then of course, you haven't asked yourself whether it's boys, or girls you can relate to better!

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Arthur Deigh  
Years ago

Thanks, guys. I was originally thinking u12s and maybe u12 girls - boys can be such smartarses and most of the girls I've coached/managed in my daughter's team seemed more coachable.

My motivation would be on the players development (and let the wins come from that. But then, as you point out, u12s is really teaching the basics, like layups. Maybe at u14s, they've learnt how to do layups so I can focus on things like court awareness, teamwork, basketball IQ? My motivation for this is seeing kids at u16/u18 level who can do layups and know the techniques of shooting but don't do things like ball fakes or jab steps to get open when you see others doing it so fluidly (and being better players because of it!)

Years ago, we did the Hersey Blanchard 'test' - from memory, I was high on 'telling' but low on 'selling' So, you could be onto something, Jack, esp with my feeling that I'd prefer a younger age group. It's not that I'm dictatorial (probably the opposite!) but I know from work, I was much better at tasks where I could say "you need to do this and this because of this" rather than "HEY GUYS WOULDN'T IT BE REALLY GREAT IF WE DID THIS?"!

But having said all that, I suppose I need to negotiate the politics of the Association and the parents! I haven't got a clue who the younger kids are in my association because my youngest child is top age 18s.



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Years ago

Under 23 Women

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