Basketball is a very complex game. There are numerous factors in a single game that can guide how it is going to go. A basketball game is also very competitive as it is decided a bunch of times by a direct duel between the teams’ best players. While people usually focus on this aspect of the game, one duel is probably even more important in determining the winner. The battle between coaches is the key to winning the game as they are the ones responsible for dictating the dynamic of the match. A coach needs to be aware that he/she is responsible for the way the team is playing because they implement the game-plan. It is very important to know the coach on the other side of the court in order to outduel them in a direct matchup. It may well decide if your team wins the game.
Preparation is the most important part. Knowing what preferences the opposing coach has, helps you construct a game-plan that can counter whatever it is the opponent bench is trying to do. Modern basketball allows you to have a lot of data at your fingertips thanks to technology. A coach can analyze the opponents through video scouting and read their preferences in order to counter them. For example, by examining the video, you see that the opposing team plays a lot of zone defense. A good coach will see that and work on zone offense in preparation to the game. Even if the other team doesn’t play zone to start the game against you, you and your team will be prepared if they suddenly try to surprise you by switching defenses. Preparing allows you to make the right adjustments during the game.
One of the key aspects of coaching during the game is using the breaks in game. Even though you prepare for a certain team, when the ball is in play, coaches lose some control over what is happening on the court. That’s why it is critical for them to use every moment they have with the team during the game through timeouts and halftime breaks. Not only do timeouts help with relating adjustments to the whole team, but they can be used to disrupt the momentum of the other team. It is imperative for a good coach to not allow huge runs from the other team and call a timeout as soon as they see the opponent gaining steam. The halftime break might be the most important point in a basketball game. Occasions right before the half are the ones that coaches think about the most when addressing their team during the halftime break, so you can use that to your advantage. Throwing out a decoy adjustment right before the half time confuses the opponent coach, as they will focus on that during the time when they have the most opportunity to talk to the team. Keeping your colleagues on their toes when they play against you, helps your team be more successful.
The final thing that is very important for a coach to be better than his/her peers is maintaining a good relationship with the players. Teams full of players that respect their coach are almost always going to be more successful than those who not. Knowing how to be a good pedagogue directly affects how the team will perform on the court, as the players will be more willing to fight on the court for someone they like. You can also relay the message easier to the team if you have a good relationship with the players. Majority of coaches have troubles with establishing a trusting relationship with their players, so by doing that, you can already be ahead over the opponent’s coach when the game starts.
The best coaches maintain a respectful relationship with the other coaches, but there needs to be a certain competitive edge to be the best. They need to find ways as the ones described above to outperform their colleagues. Sometimes, it isn’t necessary to have the best players on the court. You just need to know both your and the opponents team very well. With that knowledge, if you actually know the game of basketball, you just need to trust your intuition during the game and the other coach will be outcoached.