By Hoops

As the school season has just completed, it seems to be an appropriate time to recognize coaches. Not just those coaching in our schools all over our province, but all those at all levels - schools, WMBA, clubs and any others.

The first thing to mention is that just about all of these coaches are volunteers - i.e. they receive no pay for all the hours they dedicate to our game. When you factor in over 30 games played in a season plus the many practices to prepare the teams, the number of hours can be counted in the hundreds. This is time away from family and loved ones, on many very cold nights with long hours, and in addition to a full-time job. I sometimes wonder if those in charge, including superintendents, principals, league administrators, and especially parents, realize how lucky their students and children are to be working with such dedicated people. In addition, many of these coaches have been at it for 20-30 years. You can do the math regarding the total number of career hours - I cannot count that high and my math skills are weak. All I know is that we in the basketball community are very lucky to have these dedicated people working with our youth in the sport we all love.

Secondly, this is also the time of year when All-Star Coach or Coach of the Year awards are presented. I have no problem with these awards as we usually have good people being recognized for their good work. However, in my opinion, these too often go to the coach of the winning or championship teams. This may be justified, but as anyone who has ever coached knows all too well, sometimes the best coaching is done with the least successful teams in terms on wins and losses. In some cases, just keeping a losing team together for an entire season can be the greatest challenge for any coach. When things start to go badly on the scoreboard, it can be very easy for kids to find excuses to quit or find something else to do. I have heard it said more than once that some coaches feel if they start a season with 12 players on the team, they feel it has been a successful season if they can end the season with those same 12 players. In other words, you do not have to win a championship to be a true "all-star coach".

Lastly, if you are a player, a parent of a basketball player, a school principal or superintendent or league administrator, why not take a moment to say thanks to your coaches - they will appreciate it and they deserve it. It is a simple gesture, but it can go a long way in keeping that person energized and committed to coaching in the long term. As the ads say, Just Do It !  

We welcome your comments on this topic by posting them below!  Basketball Manitoba welcomes submissions from the basketball community to its website.  If you would like to become a regular contributor, please contact our webmaster.  

Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...