5 Ways to Pick a High Quality Coach


Have you ever dealt with a coach that didn’t mesh well with your athletes? Ever dealt with a coach who didn’t mesh well with you as a parent? Well, did you do your research?

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Coach Trent Johnson, former Stanford, LSU and TCU head coach, who gave good advice on how parents can help their children have the best season yet. “They need to do research,” Johnson shares with our team. Parents cannot just pick a coach because they know other families that have worked with that coach before. You have to sit down, do some research and find the right coach that is going to help your athletes achieve their basketball and life goals.

So how exactly do you find the right fit? Here are 5 ways to pick a high quality coach:

  1. Avoid the “people pleaser” coach – A people pleaser coach is the person that wants to make you happy and tells you what you want to hear. Their primary objective with them is for your children to have a positive FEELING about the experience rather than an overall positive experience. Some days are tough and you want a coach who is going to coach athletes through those tough times.  
  2. Find the “mentor” coach – This means some who isn’t interested in being your buddy or your friend, but rather someone who will hold people accountable for giving anything less than their best effort. This coach will watch your kids closely to figure out where your kids are at and where they want to go, what their goals are. This coach will figure out  their strengths, weaknesses, motivations and mental blockage. They are also action oriented, meaning they will spend a lot of time “doing” versus “talking.” You also want to find the coach who is honest that will tell your kids when they are doing good as well as when they are not. This opens up a much better line of communication between everyone.
  3. Find the “simple and clear” coach – This coach will give you information in smaller doses so that when your children progress, they continue to give the short doses of information. They keep it simple with their language and won’t overcomplicate things. They give your athlete the information in a way they can digest it and move on from there. They keep it short and sweet.
  4. Find the “fundamental” coach – This coach loves teaching the smallest parts of the game. Their objective is fundamental mastery. They understand how to keep players engaged with the fine details that are the building blocks for long term success as opposed to entertained with complicated sequences and drills.
  5. Find the “experienced” coach – You want to seek out someone who has the four above qualities along with a great amount of teaching experience. Great teachers are lifelong learners. The longer they have been at it, the better they are going to be at instructing it, generally speaking. Not all college or professional basketball players are going to be great coaches, and neither are older people. You have to be the judge and find someone who has experience with every aspect and is enthusiastic about teaching.

To hear more from Coach Trent Johnson, check out the Real Spill on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMcny6zkKkw>


Watts Basketball is Seattle’s premiere institution for player development. Through basketball, we teach strength, concentration, tenacity, and enjoyment of the game. We do all this because we believe basketball skills empower personal growth. That’s what makes us Gamechangers. For Life.

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