Mentor Position for ‘high-school-aged’ GBA Coaches
This position assists the teen-aged coaches throughout the season, ensuring that the players share the same positive experience equal to those players coached by seasoned adults. The mentor guides the young coaches through the player assessments, draft process as well as practices and games throughout the season.
1. Roles, Rules, Guidelines :
The high-school aged coaches are notified in advance that they will be assigned a mentor.
One mentor will be assigned for each team coached by a minor.
HS Freshmen coaching for the first time should have experienced mentors (preferably those with previous coaching experience).
There are some HS-aged coaches, who are considered ‘gold standard’ and may not require a mentor. League Commissioners will identify those individuals.
We typically assign 3 teen-age coaches per team. Contact all your coaches and try to arrange a meeting (at a local spot or before your first practice) to introduce yourself and collect their e-mail address, home and cell phone number (tip- the kids do not check e-mail reliably the way adults do. They text almost exclusively).
Explain that all schedules, results, rosters are managed through the GBA website (www.gbahoops.org). Either the mentor or one of the HS coaches will need to know how to use the web site as the primary method to communicate to families.
Explain how the assessment and draft works. Issue any tips. If you are unsure how the draft and assessments work, contact the league commissioner to find out.
Explain how to run a practice ---- Practice is 75 minutes, use it wisely, keep it crisp, and move from drill-to-drill. Write down in advance the drills and plays that you want to cover. Practice plans will be available on the web site under Coaches Corner.
B. In Season:
First practice – Encourage your coaches to publish a ‘Parent letter’ to hand out with jerseys at the first practice, although everything is done on-line now, parents appreciate the gesture. Letter should include all coach’s names, phone numbers and the GBA website address.
First few practices – be on the court or just off to the side, let the boys run the show but don’t hesitate to step in if the practice begins to drag.
For games, coaching priorities are as follows; 1-Balanced playing time. 2- Recruit a Dad or asst coach to keep the scorebook or run the playing clock. 3- Ensure your best players do not monopolize the ball.
3. General rules and tips to give the HS-aged coaches:
Encourage the coaches to learn and use the player’s names and to share their time equally among all players. The lesser-skilled players will be the quietest, reach out to them.
The HS-aged coaches tend to be soft-spoken; their voices need to carry in a noisy gym. Encourage them to speak up and use a whistle. Encourage asst coaches to contribute.
Keep practice drills between 5-7 minutes.
After the first or second practice has ended, pull the coaches over and give them your feedback while the practice is still fresh in everyone’s mind. If the drills lacked juice, teach the coaches some drills – 3-line weave and pass drill / Lay-up-Rebound drill / Box-out drill / Passing & Dribbling drill.
JV League - Explain the reason for ‘no-press’ rule. Allows lesser-skilled players to bring the ball upcourt unchallenged.
Varsity League – Full-court press is allowed and teams do press. Prepare your team for it !
Practices typically conclude with a 15-minute scrimmage against the other team practicing in the gym. Instruct the coaches to use the scrimmage time to teach, not to be hesitant to stop play to make a point.
Don’t allow friends or siblings on the court during practice. This isn’t open gym time.
Ask the coaches not to take 3-point shots during shoot-around, the players will copy them and the balls carom wildly off the backboard creating a chaotic-appearing environment. Players should be instructed to warm up from the range where they will shoot from in a game.
Instruct the coaches to shut off their cell phones prior to practice. If the parents in the stands see the coaches looking at their phones off-and-on during practice, you will hear complaints.
Allow only one game of knock-out per practice. The kids all love it but it’s not a great drill and normally the lesser-skilled players are eliminated first and ultimately stand around until someone wins.
Here is a link to download and print a PDF version of the information above.