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Posted in: General

Coaching at the top - player management or actual coaching?

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  • Coach_Browning

    While I dont follow basketball to any real depth (i enjoy the odd game when I can but thats about it), there has been some real big breaking news recently that Im sure some of you may well have seen.

    There is a nice in depth look at the story behind this here:


    Which dicusses the interaction between the players and Blatt.

    It made me think again that in these environments the role of the head coach is more about player managment than coaching per se. Other examples spring to mind - Nick Saben is argubly one of the best College Coaches (American Football) of all time but had a torrid time when he was HC in the NFL. Apparently the difference between the college level and the pros with respect to how the Head coach interacted with players was just too difficult for him.

    I get that sense in other sports as well - such as football - and Im wondering what others think about that role of a Head Coach within an elite team?

    It seems to me that it really is more about player management - espcially when you have elite players on the roster (as LeBron is), and HCs need to get really good relations with those core leaders within the team. When it works - it seems to work really well (see the All Blacks as an example). When it doesnt then it seems to implode...

  • StevieP

    Hi Simon

    A very interesting article to read. Football is certainly a good example of player management versus coaching at elite level. If you look at the internal struggles at both Chelsea FC and Manchester United this season I think there is a lot that mirrors the article you posted. With one main exception, both the managers/head coaches at Chelsea and Man Utd are internationally experienced managers. 

    With the amount of money floating about the Premiership nowadays a manager's role has becoame much more than just a coaching one and this can be seen by the larger backroom coaching teams now in place at most clubs. More than ever before managers are expected to be media savvy and the man management aspects of the role have become so much more demanding and time consuming. How do you manage a millionaire superstar within a high profile club?

    To be honest it'snot a challenge I would want

  • AndrewGambrill

    Very good post and worthy of consideration. Certainly, in my situation as HC, i compartmentalise the workload, thus i have very little direct coaching contact with the players, as competions draw near. 

     As we're a national team, there is an assumption that the fundamentals are taught by the club sides and my coordinaters then teach the players the schemes we use. My role in this is to pass on an ethos for the coaches to sticjk to. 

    Away from championships, i can look to do more individual development work, with the coordinaters sticking to the teaching of their schemes.

    During tournaments though, yes it's more about supporting emotions of staff and players and taking as much of the other distractions away (and managing the fun distractions)  laughing

  • JonWoodward74


  • JonWoodward74

    Great post and replies - I like the quote I posted previously (and posted too early!!)

    It is a form of coaching where the development of technical skills is probably not the priority in most cases, but the ability to question and tweak to utilise those attributes for the benefit of success.

    The respect issue is always an issue, and dealing with egos is one that has seen many coaches not be as successful as they could or should be...

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