Lately I have been reflecting a lot about my involvement as a basketball coach for a community basketball team of grade 7/8 girls. I got into coaching when I was still in high school, in grade 10 wellness class we were required to complete a certain number of community volunteer hours. I took this opportunity to return to my elementary school to be an assistant coach for the girls basketball team. I had known for a long time that I wanted to become a teacher, but it was at this time in my life that I realized how much I enjoyed coaching as well.
In my first year of university I returned to my old high school to become an assistant coach for the junior girls (grade 9/10) basketball team. I was lucky enough to coach with one of my old coaches and learned a great deal from her. I enjoyed coaching so much that I returned to coach again the next season. I loved sharing my knowledge of the game, seeing the girls evolve as basketball players and people.
This year I have moved on to head coach of a community basketball team. Making the jump from an assistant coach to a head coach meant a lot more responsibility and planning. Coaching at the high school level meant a 5 day a week commitment so I was continuously at practices, games, team meetings, or coaches meetings. Coaching at the community basketball developmental level means only one practice and one game per week.
Although the time commitment is not as intense this year, I find myself continuously thinking of new drills to do in practice, new plays to run in games, and new ways to make sure the girls really understand what we are teaching them in practice.
I find myself using my knowledge I have gained from my previous experiences as a player and a coach, and my education classes when I think of different ways to teach new skills and drills to the girls. I like to take drills and talks that worked for me as a player, understand the coaching aspect of it, and either use them, modify them, or decide that they are unfit for my specific team and this time.
I feel that coaching is helping me to become a better teacher, and I love every minute of it.