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Lessons Learned From My First Year Coaching Youth Basketball

By Bill Bender, Sporting News, 03/11/19, 12:00PM CDT


Everybody remembers wins and losses. Few people remember the actual score.

The first Monday evening practice was a challenge. You don't know until you try to get second-graders to hold the basketball on a school night in the latest practice window available. The first few shots went in every possible direction. A few went in. A few more bounced off the rim. A few even missed the backboard. One nearly knocked my glasses off, and I wasn't even facing in the direction of the shot.

I was 15 minutes into my first head-coaching experience, and in way over my head. How could that happen? After all, I’d had great mentors growing up and have spent my entire adult life covering successful college football and basketball coaches.