As a leader you should constantly be looking in the mirror. The easiest thing you can do is project your shortcomings onto the people around you. Take the things you don’t like and find someone to blame for it.

As a basketball coach this is an easy trap to fall into. The players are the ones out there making plays, so it’s easy to point the finger. It’s hard to win when our leading scorer goes 2-12. We need more production out of our front court. How can we win if our 4s and 5s only get 6 rebounds combined? It’s an easy way out for a basketball coach.

When you look in the mirror, you have to be honest with yourself about who you are as a coach. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you, as a leader, need the most help? Ask someone you trust from outside of your organization to evaluate you. Get their honest feedback on where you excel and where you could use some help.

As you figure out who you are as a coach, take a close look at the staff around you. If you are willing to talk openly about where you need help, then ask your staff to fill the void. If you are an offensive-minded coach who runs a particular system that you really believe in and spend a lot of time on, then make sure one of your assistants is in charge of the defense. If your strength is in X’s and O’s but you aren’t as comfortable connecting with your players, make sure your staff is doing just that and getting the right message across. If you aren’t going to dedicate a ton of practice time to individual development, make sure your staff is getting in the gym with your guys before and after. If you recognize you don’t focus on rebounding that much, assign one of your coaches or your managers to coach it and chart it. You can keep your staff engaged and get the most out of them if you are intentional about the assignments you give them.

Usually your growth as a coach and a team starts with being self-aware. Be honest with yourself and who you are, and figure out where you need help. It’s okay to admit where you are weak and need to get better. Direct your staff to focus on those areas, rather than simply following your lead as a coach, and you and your program will both improve.

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