On an almost weekly basis I have young basketball players ask me what is a coach looking for? Almost all athletes I have coached or worked with as a basketball trainer have made this question more complicated than need be. Yes coaches want every player to be as skilled as possible but coaches also want other traits that are essential to every team and increasing your playing time. Many of these traits are obtainable for every basketball player regardless of talent.
Unselfish Basketball Players
One thing every coach wants in a basketball player is unselfishness. Many young athletes want to shoot the ball or be the scorer on the team. Not many want to be the rebounding specialist or the defensive stopper because they are less glorious positions but they are 2 of the most important. Also many athletes don’t realize to be a good scorer it is extremely hard and takes more individual work that any other specialist on a basketball team. Players that are willing to make an extra pass, take charges, or set screens are essential for every team. If you watch any varsity basketball game in the country every team has a guy who all he does is set screens and rebound. That player doesn’t score every possession but because of their unselfishness they get rewarded with passes for layups and lots of playing time.
Controlled aggressiveness is something every coach wants. Players that crash the boards on every shot, dive on the floor for loose balls, and always make good rotations on defense will always stand out to coaches. This isn’t a special skill it is a trait that every player can acquire through making a decision to do those things listed above every day in practice and every opportunity in competition. Once you consciously make an effort to commit to these habits they will become muscle memory and you want think about them in games you will just do them and your coach will see you as a very important asset to the team.
Gym Rat Basketball Mentality
Gym rats! A gym rat is a basketball player that is always in the gym. They are the first one to the gym and the last one to leave. They usually are begging to get in the gym and often times get in trouble for being in the gym when they shouldn’t be. Unfortunately this is a dying breed of basketball player. Coaches love these kids because they are hungry for coaching and then they are willing to put in the needed extra time to perfect the skills they receive coaching on. Gym rats aren’t just practicing they are searching for every open run they can find in the city or planning one.
All of the skills listed above are desirable to coaches but being good at only one of them or not combining them with other basketball skills won’t do you any good. Also if you are very skilled and think you don’t need to have these skills you are also misunderstanding this message. Coaches want all players on a team to possess great skills and do the little things we talked about in this article. I have seen kids get college scholarships because they do these little things and fill up the stat boxes in other areas than points scored. The more competitive your basketball career gets the more there is a need for teams to have players with these “glue” guys. Why can’t it be you?
Connect with a quality basketball trainer today to start working on building these intangible skills that will help you develop on and off the basketball court.