5 May 2020

Online coaching course to help young basketballers

10:14 am on 5 May 2020

Giving parents easy access to coaching courses could change the way young people experience sport, according to Basketball New Zealand.

Super Sixes year 6, Sports Park - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 2019.

Kids basketball Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has launched a free online course for adults who coach sport for young people, with the aim of changing attitudes.

The course has three modules which can be completed in around one hour.

The Good Sports programme was created by the Auckland University of Technology and Aktive to address the issues in youth sport of poor side-line behaviour, early onset of overuse injury, early specialisation, burnout and disaffection with sport.

BBNZ is the first sport to take the Good Sports theory and turn it into an online resource.

The course is an addition of BBNZ's Kiwi Hoops and Community Course programmes, which covers the fundamentals of basketball for junior players and development for community coaches and referees.

BBNZ's director of community participation Brad Edwards said as basketball participation numbers continued to grow it was a challenge to get more volunteer coaches with the right ethos.

"I don't think anyone gets into youth sport with the wrong intentions, it's really just about providing the knowledge, some simple tools and resources for these coaches to get out there and have a good understanding of how to coach and provide a quality experience," Edwards said.

Super Sixes year 6, Sports Park - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 2019.

Kids basketball Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The course was for coaching newbies as well as those who had been in the game for a while and challenged coaches to guide their team with the children in mind - rather than themselves.

With sport on a hiatus, Edwards said now was a good time for coaches to reassess their methods.

"Have you been putting the needs of your own children and the children you coach first, or have you been built around perhaps what you went through when you were a player or what you think is the best way to go about it."

BBNZ agreed with Sport New Zealand's principles around youth sport and Edwards said they wanted to make sure children had positive experiences in sport and did not focus on just the result on the scoreboard.

Coaching courses were normally conducted face-to-face, but Edwards said this new delivery method came at the right time as the basketball community grows around the country.

"We've been thinking about how we can reach more coaches out in the community that perhaps can't get along to our courses in person, so we wanted to get more content online, we made it real easy for people to get involved even if they've had no experience before with the sport."

On completion of the Good Sports Modules online, coaches can attend a practical workshop to discuss and apply some of the key principles.