As a coach, it’s important to always be inspiring and motivating your players. Coaching is just as important on the court as it is off. A player’s studies and classwork must also take priority in their life just as much as the sport. When coaching your players, there are ways to get them to put as much effort into their studies as they do on the court:

Give Players Incentive

At a young age, it’s easy for players to see school as boring or unentertaining. Often times, they will act out and put little effort into their school work. A great way to overcome this as their basketball coach is to give them an incentive to do better in school. Offer prizes such as a pizza party or small medal to the player who performed the best in the classroom that week. By acknowledging their achievements, you are showing them how important school is as well as their athletic performance. 

Give Them a Leader 

Playing on a team puts players in a sportsmanship’s mentality. They will tend to follow leaders and typically look towards the team captain or coach for this guidance. Utilize this mentality and  encourage players to look for academic leaders in the classroom as well. It’s also important to challenge them and follow the actions of said academic leader by sitting at the front of the class, for example, or holding their fellow teammates accountable when they aren’t putting any effort into their school work.

Talk With Their Teachers

It’s important to ensure everyone is on the same page. This means talking with your players and their teachers. Let their teachers know how much of a priority you are placing on their education, and not just their athletic development. This way, they are able to communicate the expectations you have for your players in the classroom without you having to be present. It’s also a great idea to have teachers involved in the sport as well by inviting them to games so they can see them in action.

Explain the Importance of Education

Although, as a coach, sports are pretty much the central aspect of your life, younger players may end up choosing a different path. Because of this, it’s important to vocalize why they need to make their education a priority. Tell them to take responsibility for their education and put in genuine effort. Not only will this help prepare them for their future, but it will also develop their skills on the court by placing value on hard work and dedication.