Thanks Coach!

You have said yes. Sure, I’ll coach my daughter’s or son’s basketball team. And so your journey begins. What a journey it will be. You will experience the many highs of teaching basketball and life skills to a group of children or adolescents. You will also need to call on many of the skills you have built over your lifetime to manage relationships with players, parents, referees, and other coaches.

You will give a lot during this journey—your time, experience, and wisdom—but you will gain more than you give.

There are so many incredible aspects of coaching that will help to fill your bucket:

  • Developing a positive team culture that instills the value of teamwork and inclusion
  • Helping a quiet adolescent develop their confidence and find their voice
  • Seeing the pure joy on the face of a player sink their first basket in a game
  • Being a mentor for a child who might be struggling a little
  • Watching the development of your team as the year goes on
  • Celebrating a last second basket for the win
  • Seeing the bonds of friendship that are developing amongst teammates

These are just a few of the benefits that I have enjoyed tremendously in my 10+ years of coaching basketball and soccer. When I started my coaching journey, I did so for the same reason that most of you did—to give back as other coaches in my life have, and to help enable youth sports (every youth sport struggles finding enough volunteers to coach).

What I didn’t expect was the impact that coaching would have on my own personal development. I am now 25 years into a career that has included leadership roles at IBM and for the last 8 years the running of a management consulting firm I founded. I have been leading teams for most of those 25 years. Yet, I can say without a shred of doubt that coaching youth sports has had one of the biggest impacts on my leadership skills.

Coaching youth sports teaches you how to communicate VERY efficiently, to build a great team culture, to manage all types of personalities, to present and perform in front of a group of parents and young athletes, and about the impact your words and actions have on the lives of others.

So, thank you sincerely for your commitment to helping mentor the young athletes in the GBA. My hope is that you will find the same joy and enrichment that I have found from coaching. Coach Hoops is here to help you on your journey with resources to make the role a little easier. And please feel free to reach out to me for help!

Published by coachmark70

Mark Emond is West Ottawa's VP of Competitive, Coach and Player Development, the Head Coach for our U16 Girls competitive team and for Ottawa's Girl's team in the Ontario Summer Games in 2022. He can be reached at

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