In the United States it is commonplace for a basketball player to have a variety of coaches over the course of their career.
Recreational, AAU, and school coaches each bring unique styles or techniques that, in combination, foster a deeper understanding of the game.
In China, the majority of youth basketball players do not get a comparable level of exposure to different coaching methods.
Instead, they often encounter basketball as a part of their school PE curriculum, where drills rarely venture beyond the development of basic skills like dribbling and passing.
As a result, the potential benefits of training with specialized basketball coaches, particularly those from other countries, can be profound.
Here are 3 reasons why youth basketball coaches are needed in China!
1. It’s a Numbers Game…
Part of the problem is the sheer number of kids who are interested in playing the sport, and the amount of coaches needed to satiate this demand.
This inequity leads to big class sizes that ultimately cannot ensure the level of individual attention necessary for development.
Additional coaches would fill this void off campus and could even work at schools as part-time PE teachers.
The latter role has the advantage of convenience for parents and would establish regular basketball specific training sessions for kids.
2. Prioritize the Team Over the Individual
There is no doubt that Chinese kids have the requisite passion to be great basketball players.
However, most kids lack formal training, which leads to sloppy games that feature a lot of one-on-one action.
An influx of coaches from outside China would bring different styles of play and a variety of new drills.
The most helpful addition would be live drills which force players to react, adapt, and use teamwork in unfamiliar situations. In this way, new coaches will promote cooperation instead of repetitive skill work and individual play.
3. Development of Foreign Language Skills
The benefits of basketball-specific training are obvious, but often there are other reasons parents want their kids to play the sport. For one, Chinese parents will sign their children up for basketball training with a foreigner simply for the extra English practice and some quality exercise.
If a coach has the ability to speak Mandarin and a foreign language – the benefits for the player will be more pronounced. Sessions can be conducted seamlessly using both languages to get a better understanding of the drills and gain new vocabulary.
Coaches who focus on simple, but effective, communication can help players rapidly acquire new basketball terminology.
This is turn allows players to communicate with each other on the court. However, this assumes that players are willing to be attentive and focused to understand instruction in a different language in the first place.
Over the course of a young player’s development, exposure to a variety of coaching styles can be extremely beneficial.
If one of these coaches happens to be foreign, players have a chance to learn new drills, familiarize themselves with a different style of play, and potentially practice a new language!