Here’s How to Become a Basketball Coach (Professional Guide)

Here’s how to become a basketball coach. All professional athletes are guided by a coach as they progress through the ranks. A coach, regardless of the sport, has the unique ability to improve a player’s talent and help them gain confidence in their game. A basketball coach can guide a player through a season or prepare them for the next level of competition.

how to become a basketball coach

What is a basketball coach?

A basketball coach is a person who instructs a player or a group of players on how to play basketball. They educate kids on how to play the game, plan with them during tournaments, assist in skill development, and inspire through their leadership. A basketball coach can deal with players of diverse ages and abilities, from young children to professional athletes. Basketball coaches must be good communicators, patient, possess strong leadership characteristics, and possess a thorough understanding of the sport.

Most basketball coaches who work for a school system also teach a topic, but at the college level and beyond, it is feasible to work part-time or full-time as a basketball coach without extra duties.

how to become a basketball coach

What does a basketball coach do?

Being a professional basketball coach is a lot of work and numerous duties.

Any level of a basketball coach is accountable for:

  • They are instructing their squad on how to play basketball, covering essential skills, regulations, and other techniques.
  • Assuring that all players work together as a team and that everyone prioritizes the team’s accomplishments over their own.
  • Organizing practice sessions so that athletes can improve their abilities
  • Coaching players that can want one-on-one assistance outside of the team
  • Developing on-court strategy depending on the talent levels of the players and the team they are playing against
  • Assisting the squad and its players as a motivator and leader
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each player and working with them accordingly
  • Making fast judgments during a game, such as substituting players.
  • Injury prevention, assessment, and management.
  • Instilling a sense of collaboration and sportsmanship, as well as emphasizing the value of friendly competition.

Average salary for a basketball coach

how to become a basketball coach

In the United States, the average annual compensation for a basketball coach is $48,590. This compensation varies based on your years of experience and where you work as a basketball coach in terms of city and state.

Basketball coaches in Atlanta, Georgia, for example, earn an average of $61,480 per year, whereas basketball coaches in New York, New York, earn an average of $44,843 per year.

Basketball coaches can profit from a variety of things, including:

how to become a basketball coach

  • A work schedule that is adaptable.
  • Health-care coverage.
  • Membership in a gym.
  • Subsidized housing 403(b).
  • Assistance with professional growth.
  • Insurance for people with disabilities.
  • Life insurance is a type of insurance that protects.
  • A wellness program is available to you.
  • Dental coverage is a must.
  • Medical savings account.
  • Insurance against accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)

How to become a basketball coach

Consider the following steps if you wish to become a professional basketball coach:

Get a high school diploma

To work as a basketball coach, you can simply need a high school diploma or equivalent, depending on the level you’ll be teaching at. In most cases, a GED can suffice if you do not have your high school diploma.

how to become a basketball coach

Complete a bachelor’s degree

To work as a basketball coach, most businesses will need you to have a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in teaching is preferable, but if one is available, you might wish to consider minoring in physical education or a form of sports training. Physical education, exercise science, and sports medicine are all possible majors.

Try to play on your school’s team while in college so you can get experience and improve your talents. This will assist you in obtaining a position in the future. You can even aim to be the team manager, which would help you develop your leadership abilities.

how to become a basketball coach

Decide your coaching level

Basketball coaches can deal with kids of different ages, from elementary school to professional basketball. Knowing what your preferred professional path is is one of the first stages to becoming a basketball coach. You can discover that the quality of your athletes doesn’t matter since you like the game, or you can want to work with players that are a little more experienced and ready to try out for the professional level.

If you have a certain skill level in mind, it can help you narrow down your employment options or open up chances for extra coaching outside of your full-time work, such as for a sports league.

how to become a basketball coach

Play basketball

Because they grew up playing basketball, many basketball coaches develop a passion for the game and begin working as coaches. While many formed teams with local youngsters while they were younger, many more participated while still in school. While it isn’t necessary to have first-hand experience playing basketball to be a good basketball coach, you must be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the game and specific abilities that you can teach others, and having first-hand experience playing is probably the best way to do so.

how to become a basketball coach

Volunteer as a coach

While you’re obtaining your degree, look for secondary basketball coaching volunteer opportunities with area schools or sports leagues. This will offer you experience and allow you to network with the school’s employees. Once you graduate, these same relationships can be able to link you with a career opportunity, either at the same place where you volunteered or at a nearby institution.

how to become a basketball coach

Take educational courses

An company can still hire you without a bachelor’s degree in education, but if you want to work in the school system, you can need to complete education-related courses. These courses will prepare you for a career in education by teaching you how to develop and administer a curriculum as well as numerous techniques to teach your students.

Get certified in your state

Each state has its own set of rules that must be followed before instructors and coaches can be certified. Determine what you need to do to receive authorization to teach and coach by contacting your state’s Board of Education. You can be required to work a particular number of hours at the school under the supervision of a mentor and show that you have certain skills and knowledge.

You can need to obtain certified in CPR and first aid in addition to your teaching credential so that you can assist pupils in unforeseen medical emergencies.

how to become a basketball coach

Work with other experienced coached

As you begin your career as a basketball coach, it can be worthwhile to seek veteran coaches to assist you. They can offer useful advice on how to train athletes in the sport. Get advice from them and ask them questions so you can learn about their experiences on the job and how they were able to succeed.

Find work

Look for openings as a basketball coach on the internet. You can look for openings on internet job boards or go to your local gym or recreation facility to see if they require a coach. During the season, youth or adult basketball leagues usually require coaches, so look for openings in your local leagues.

Required skills

You should also have the following skills in order to be a successful basketball coach:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Sportsmanship
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Passion for the sport and coaching
  • Leadership
  • Resourcefulness
  • Organization
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Discipline

Experienced coaches have one or more of these soft skills.

How to become an assistant basketball coach

An assistant basketball coach aids a basketball program’s head coach. Running team exercises, teaching laws and methods to players, working on game strategy, planning and overseeing team travel, following appropriate protocols in the event of accidents, and assisting with equipment maintenance are all common responsibilities. They should also encourage and model sportsmanship for the athletes. An assistant basketball coach can work in a variety of settings, including elementary school, high school, college, and professional basketball.

How to become a basketball coach assistant

An assistant basketball coach aids a basketball program’s head coach. A bachelor’s degree in a related subject and experience playing basketball at the collegiate or professional level are some of the requirements for becoming an assistant coach. Some employment in public schools need first-aid certification as well as a current teaching license. Coaches at the collegiate and professional levels require far more coaching expertise. An assistant basketball coach must be able to communicate successfully with his or her team’s players as well as the rest of the coaching staff.

Some assistant coaches can start off as basketball players themselves. Usually, learning the game before continuing on toward their coaching career.

Common questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding coaching basketball:

Do basketball coaches have to wear suits?

Your employer will choose if you must wear a suit at work. Many professional organizations require coaches to dress in a suit or sport coat with a necktie during games. Coaches at the collegiate level frequently do the same. Coaches of younger athletes should adhere to the dress code of the school where they work.

Do coaches get paid?

Most basketball coaches are paid, but if you want to acquire experience, have some fun, or coach your child’s young sports team, there are lots of volunteer options.

How do I become a better coach?

You could wish to study other games to observe how other coaches prepare their teams and handle game play in order to become a better basketball coach. You can view prior games on video or go to live games. Examine their defensive strategies, how they switch players in the midst of a game, and how they motivate their teammates. You can also modify your communication approach according to your player’s requirements, maintain a good attitude, and have faith in your squad.

Experience as an assistant coach or high school basketball coach, as well as playing basketball on a team, will be beneficial.

Attending coaching seminars is also beneficial. Basketball coaching clinics are a great opportunity to meet and network with other coaches while listening to seasoned coaches share their skills.

What’s required to make it to the NBA?

Before you can move to the big leagues, you can need to work as a high school or college basketball coach for a few years. Additionally, you can be required to have a winning record in order to be considered for an NBA position.

Where can I find more information?

These resources:

how to become a basketball coach

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Download our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free download. No email required.

Download PDF