“So you want to be a coach?” This is a common question asked to student-athletes when their eligibility is finished and they have graduated. Sports are a major part of student-athletes’ lives so coaching seems to be the obvious profession upon graduation. They think that because they were with their coach nearly everyday at practice that they understand the daily demands of being a coach. Coaching seems to be awesome because head coaches get paid the big bucks. What many student-athletes do not understand is the business side and the time demands of coaching.
The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) understands that coaching is a tough profession and that many student-athletes think that they want to be coaches so they have created an informative program for women’s basketball players to educate them on being a coach. The So You Want to be a Coach Program takes place at the Final Four each year. The WBCA brings in about 50 participants that have expired their eligibility and about 30 current coaches and sports professionals to delve into important topics that will help the participants answer the very important question, “so you want to be a coach?” I was fortunate to be a member of the program this year in New Orleans and I want to share what an awesome experience it was.
The program lasted for three days that consisted of guest speakers talking about the many different aspects of coaching. Here a few of the many topics that were discussed:
- Recruiting methods
- Legal issues involved with coaching
- The differences in philosophy between Division I, II, III, and NAIA
- The sacrifices made to get into the business
- Administration positions that deal with women’s basketball but are not coaches
- Importance of networking
The WBCA also sees the importance of giving back to the local community so a four hour segment of time was set aside for the participants to volunteer with a youth basketball clinic. We taught kids ages 7-13 the fundamentals of basketball and gave them drills to work on to get them active and more involved in the game we are all trying to promote: women’s basketball.
After the program I asked myself, “so you want to be a coach?” I am still not 100% sure if college coaching is the route that I wish to take. I plan on finishing my playing career and then returning to graduate school to be a graduate assistant for a basketball program to further my education on what it takes to be a coach. I encourage my readers to look into the So You Want to be a Coach Program and encourage a young women to apply. This program opened my eyes to the coaching profession and helped me meet many influential people that will assist me in my future job search. I recommend that every graduating women’s basketball player apply to the program if they are contemplating being a coach.