How can I become a Basketball Coach?

Ninety percent of basketball lovers aside from playing basketball would love to become a basketball coach. This is because the coaches of today were once players of yesterday.

Hence, this article on “How to Become a Basketball Coach” explains in detail the requirements to become a basketball coach, a full guide, and how much you may earn as a basketball coach.

Becoming a basketball coach only becomes less rigorous if you have the right information.

Basketball boast of having approximately 825 followers and over a hundred thousand teams. Actually, the history of basketball is traceable to 1891 when James Naismith a Canadian Physical education instructor introduced it as a less injury-prone sport than football.

Getting into coaching basketball demands some qualification, expertise, physical strength, and a result-oriented mindset. In fact, legendary coaches are known for their resilient spirit and commitment to achieving set goals.

The table of contents below reveals a series of frequently asked questions pertinent to becoming a basketball coach duly answered in this article.

Is Basketball a Game or Sport?

Basically, a sport is a physical activity carried out under an agreed set of rules, with a recreational purpose. It could be for competition or self-enjoyment or a combination of both.

Whereas a game is a recreational activity involving one or more players, defined by a goal that the players try to reach within some set of rules.

So, the difference of purpose differentiates sport from game combined with the notion of individual skill or prowess. While games are primarily played for entertainment or enjoyment, sports may be a competition or self-enjoyment purposes.

Basketball is a sport because it is a physical activity played under set rules and also a game because it serves entertainment purposes.

What is Basketball?

Basketball is a team sport where two teams, usually consisting of five players on each team play against each other on a rectangular court. Its origin is traceable to 1891 when James Naismith invented this game as a less injury sport.

The two teams are made up of five players each. So, we have ten players in a court at one time and a maximum of seven players on the bench.

Basically, the game involves one team trying to stop players on the other team from scoring. However, every normal score is two points and if a player throws the ball into the hoop from behind the large arced line on the court called the “3-point line” the score is worth three points.

Furthermore, this game has a number of officials who are not from either team but are there to help. They are Umpire, referee, timekeeper, scorekeeper, and a shot clock operator.

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Who is a Professional Basketball Coach?

Every sport or game must have players and one who directs and teaches skills on how these players must succeed in the field. These teachers or directors are called coaches.

So, a Professional basketball coach teaches professional basketball players all the skills they need to succeed on the court.

Also, a professional basketball coach runs practices, recruits players and call plays during games. They often analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their team as well as those of their opponents.

In addition, Professional basketball coaches also evaluate and keep track of individual performance and create plays that take advantage of their players’ strengths. They may work hand in hand with assistant coaches to bring out the best in their players.

Finally, most professional basketball coaches started as and won records high school basketball coaches or even coaching basketball in colleges and middle school. Some legendary  coaches of basketball teams include;

Jim Calhoun

Winning over 600 games with four final four appearances he collected national titles. Also, Jim Calhoun turned the Connecticut Huskies into one of college basketball’s elite programs.

Consequently, his legendary and professional basketball coach won over 600 games, He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of fame in 2005.

Subsequently, six years later at 68, he became the oldest coach in Division 1 history with a national title.

Dean Smith

Similarly, Smith is one of the greatest innovators in college basketball. Apparently, he is the designer of the Four Corner offense. In addition, Smith turned the Tar heels into one of the most successful basketball programs in the country, after he took over in 1961.

He amassed over 870 wins and 11 Final Four appearances as well as two national championships. Also, almost 97 percent of his athletes earned a degree.

Bobby Knight

This Hall of Fame coach is known for his abrasive style, nicknamed General; Bobby is the second-winningest coach in Division 1 Men’s basketball.

Actually, this legendary professional coach has 902 career victories to his name. In addition, he led the U.S. team to a gold medal at the 1979 Pan America Games and the 1984 Olympics.

Also, the Indiana Hoosiers turned into a perennial powerhouse achieving five Finals Fours by Bobby Knight. Furthermore, he also won three national championships.

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Who is a Highschool Basketball Coach?

A high school basket coach is a coach who works with basketball teams at the high school level. So, a high school basketball coach will carry out all the actions and duties of a coach for a high school team.

Basketball is one game for recreational, entertainment, and sportsmanship among high school students. Mostly, former high school players often advance toward becoming high school basketball coaches.

Moreso, these professionals are in high demand today, so you may take a shot at becoming a high school girls’ or boys’ basketball coach. However, you may need the following to start a career as a basketball head coach in a high school.

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Portfolio
  • Interview

Basically, you must include the following information in your portfolio;

  • Program Mission Statement
  • Coaching Philosophy
  • Program Goals
  • Building Your Culture
  • Offseason Training/Player development
  • Offensive Philosophy
  • Defensive Philosophy
  • Practice Planning
  • Scouting
  • Fundraising
  • Youth Player Development
  • Coach Parent Rapport

Subsequently, if your school views your resume, cover letter, and portfolio and agree you may be a good fit for the program. To become a high school basketball coach, you will attend an interview. While preparing for the interview expect questions like;

  • Why you’re interested in the position
  • What’s your coaching philosophy
  • Qualities of a great coach
  • Your communication Style
  • Your strengths
  • Player development            
  • Your goals for the program
  • Academics

How do I Become an NBA Coach?

NBA stands for National Basketball Association. Firstly, this position is not easy to come by. Becoming an NBA coach is interesting but scarce and landing one is tough. However, it is still possible

Secondly, basketball coaches when hired by this association become NBA coaches. Mostly, these coaches should have worked as college basketball coaches, high school basketball coaches, and more importantly professional coaches in basketball games.

Thirdly, according to business insider, all coaches who made it to the NBA agree that two things are important. One, making connections and the other boasting a strong resume. Also, different paths to the NBA following stories of coaches and players will also help you in advancing your career path.

What Degree do I Need to Become a Basketball Coach?

There is no minimum educational requirement to become a professional basketball coach. However, many coaches start their career at high school or collegiate level and a bachelor’s degree may be required for these positions.

Also, you may go for a coaching-related bachelor’s degree program which includes physical education and exercise science.

You should expect and excel in coursework that covers lifetime fitness and wellness, anatomy and physiology, and motor development. Subsequently, you may also learn to get online certifications in sports history, rules, and strategies.

Furthermore, you need all the experiences you can get to advance in this career. Basically, you may need to work as an assistant basketball coach for both college and high school.

Also, you may try gaining experience from being a head coach in smaller schools and programs before advancing to bigger opportunities and teams.

How do I become a Basketball Coach?

Firstly, the highest school basketball players advance to coaches after school. To be a basketball coach in college or high school, you must have an ardent interest in this career path. Also, you may check out other high paying career paths too.

Step1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Basically, you need a bachelor’s degree to be a basketball coach. so, you pursue programs in exercise and physical education or better still take the course in coach training.

In fact, a degree program in coach training aids you to know how to work with athletes and develop game plans as well as plan and implement physical conditioning and skills development programs.

In addition, it is important you get firsthand experience playing basketball. This gives you a more well-rounded knowledge of the sport and allows them to better communicate with their players.

Also, you may learn teaching skills as many schools hire coaches who are already working as state-certified teachers. Some degree programs you may offer are;

Columbia University Athletic Coaching

This program features coursework in sports psychology, human movement, and coaching principles. It is available as an undergraduate degree, Graduate degree, and certificate program. Basically, an undergraduate certificate in Athletic Coaching prepares you to be an effective leader and health advocate of athletes regardless of the sport. some courses you may offer include:

  • CPR and first aid
  • Human nutrition and injury management
  • Player Motivation
  • Sports psychology
  • Coaching pedagogy
  • sports programs administration

Actually, this course is available for both Bachelor’s, Master’s Associate, and Doctoral degree programs. These programs must meet the four objectives which are credibility, professionalism, quality of service, and confidence.

Basically, any of these degree programs will expose you to basic principles like:

  • Hold paramount the welfare of the individual
  • Perform service only in areas of competence
  • Issue public statements in a truthful and objective manner
  • Act with a high standard of personal conduct
  • Remain proficient in professional practice and the performance of professional duties
  • Maintain professional integrity

Furthermore, to get an online certificate in athletic coaching from Columbia University: it will cost you an average of $480/semester credit hour.

Step 2: Get an Experience in Coaching

Basically, before you can get an opportunity to work as an assistant coach, you need to have coaching experience. So, you need to start working with basketball teams at many different levels. Preferably, volunteer at middle school, high schools or even your college team as a team manager.

In fact, learn to watch as many game tapes as possible. This will help you understand, break down the actions and strategies of teams and players.

Furthermore, both volunteer and game tapes will teach how to reorganize various offenses and defenses. This is important in becoming a basketball coach both in high school or college.

3rd Step: Work as an Assistant Basketball Coach

Basically, to become a coach in basketball, you should start your career as an assistant basketball coach. This is easier to get as assisting jobs are quite on the increase. However, this may come with increasing responsibility.

At this point, you should work more closely with players individually before and after practice to help them improve their basketball skills.

4th Step: Get Certified

A degree is great accompanied by experience as a basketball coach but certifications are very important. Basically, certificate programs deal extensively on a chosen part of a broad field.

So while a degree in Physical education is great, certifications in CPR, first aid and coaching may be required for coaches who are looking at working at public junior high or non-faculty members at a school.

Step 5: Grow in the Career Path.

Now you’re certified as a basketball coach, you can work as a head coach at public high schools, middle schools, and colleges. Since most high school coaches work part-time and don’t get the pay or benefits of a full-time coach, you should consider advancing to college or professional basketball.

However, this may require years of experience and a winning track record of your team,

In fact, you should keep winning and chasing bigger opportunities until you join the Naismith Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

How Much Does a Basketball coach Earn?

Basketball coaches earn $100, 000 on average if they work with teams at smaller schools.

However, coaches at any of the top-paying NCAA schools earn close to $1 million or more annually.

Becoming a Basketball Coach FAQs

What is the earning of a basketball coach?

Salary earnings for a basketball coach vary according to your current employer, team standard and qualification, and experience. For example, of the 65 teams making the men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament in 2014.
Basically, the lowest-earning coach made around $ 171000.
Furthermore in a professional league, according to average salary is about $3.05 million.

Who is a high school basketball coach?

A high school basket coach is a coach who works with basketball teams at the high school level. So, a high school basketball coach will carry out all the actions and duties of a coach for a high school team.
To be a college basketball coach, the level you wish to coach will determine the degree requirements.

Do I need a degree or experience o work as a basketball coach?

Basically, at Div: 1 level, you just need a degree. However, as you move down in level, many schools look for Master’s degree applicants.
In addition to your qualifications, it is important to note that coaching is very much contact based than knowledge-based. So you need a strong resume and network connection too.


Basketball is an interesting game and being a basketball coach is also an interesting career path. This article from World Scholarship Forum explains the basic difference between games and sports,

Although there is a difference this post says why basketball is both a sport and a game.

Also, it throws more light on who basketball coaches are, their different levels, and a detailed guide on how to become one.

Basically, you may first need to show interest in the career to become a basketball coach. Also, you need a bachelor’s degree and certification with ample years of experience to excel in this coaching career.

This post also shows tips on becoming a high school and college basketball coach. The FAQ answers how much you may earn coaching a basketball team.

Finally, it lists out communication, leadership ability to make decisions attention to detail, and acute knowledge of basketball and its rules as key skills for a basketball coach both at the high school level or college level

Get all the requirements and start your career journey to greatness. See you at the Hall of Fame.




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